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JuLY 2007

Record high for May 2007 steel import permit applications

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 May 2007 totaled 3,014,000 net tons (NT), the highest monthly amount so far in 2007.

This was a 1 percent increase from the 2,994,000 permit tons recorded in April 2007, a 9 percent increase from the April preliminary imports total of 2,760,000 NT and 13 percent greater than the 2005 monthly average. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May 2007 was 2,622,000 NT, 20 percent above the preliminary imports of 2,186,000 NT in April 2007 and 25 percent higher than the monthly average of 2,099,000 NT in 2005.

For May 2007, the largest volumes of steel import permit applications for countries outside of North America were China (487,000 NT), Korea (215,000 NT) and Brazil (213,000 NT). Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel (486,000 NT) were up 46 percent in May compared to the preliminary imports total for April. This tonnage for China, while still below the 2006 record tonnage amounts that occurred in the second half of last year, was 153 percent higher than the 2005 monthly average of 192,000 NT for China.

In analyzing the SIMA data for the month of May, AISI President and CEO Andrew G. Sharkey, III, said that, “The significant increase in May import permits, for China in particular, is a reminder that the United States remains an attractive market for the excess steel capacity of less efficient, subsidized foreign producers. This is why competitive American steel producers are supporting the close monitoring of imports, strict enforcement of current trade laws and prompt passage of legislation to strengthen trade laws.”