Steel import permit applications decrease
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 totaled 2,393,000 net tons (NT). This was a 20 percent decrease
from the 2,988,000 permit tons recorded in April 2008, and a 19 percent
decrease from the April preliminary imports total of 2,944,000 NT.
Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 1,916,000 NT, a decrease
of 13 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,194,000 NT in April.
For the first five months of 2008 (including May SIMA and April preliminary),
total steel imports were 13,058,000 NT, down 12 percent from the 14,772,000
NT imported in the first five months of 2007. Total steel imports for
2008 would annualize at 31.3 million NT, 6 percent below the 2007 total.
For May 2008, the largest finished steel import permit applications for
offshore countries were for China (285,000 NT), Korea (184,000 NT), India
(123,000 NT), Japan (113,000 NT) and Germany (77,000 NT). Finished steel
import permit applications for China increased 58 percent in May compared
to April preliminary imports and were the highest monthly total for 2008
so far. Product categories that increased in May vs. April preliminary
include: Hot Dipped Galvanized Sheet & Strip (up percent 80), Oil
Country Goods (up 26 percent), Heavy Structural Shapes (up 9 percent)
and Tin Plate (up 37 percent). Significant products that showed a year-to-date
increase vs. 2007 include: Oil Country Goods (up 18 percent) and Line
Pipe (up 16 percent).