April SIMA import permits decreased by 3 percent
Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of April total 2,576,000 net tons (NT). This was a 3 percent decrease from the 2,650,000 permit tons recorded in March but up by 4 percent from the March preliminary imports total of 2,476,000 NT.
Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 2,003,000, up 2 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,967,000 in March. For the first four months of 2013 (including April SIMA and March preliminary), total and finished steel imports were 10,176,000 NT and 7,999,000 NT, respectively, down 13 percent and 11 percent from the same period in 2012. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 23 percent and is 23 percent year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in April permits versus the March preliminary included cut lengths plates (up 74 percent), wire rods (up 45 percent), standard pipe (up 36 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 19 percent) and mechanical tubing (up 19 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2012 include steel piling (up 60 percent) and cold rolled strip (up 36 percent).
In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (275,000 NT, up 18 percent from March), Japan (220,000 NT up 25 percent), China (124,000 NT, down 9 percent), Germany (114,000 NT, up 56 percent) and Turkey (72,000 NT, down 53 percent). Through the first four months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,150,000 NT, down 7 percent from the same period in 2012), Japan (663,000 NT, up 0.1 percent) and China (571,000 NT, up 30 percent).