May SIMA import permits up 4 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 May total 2,800,000 net tons (NT). This was a 4 percent increase from the 2,697,000 permit tons recorded in April and 2 percent increase from the April final imports total of 2,738,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 2,105,000, down 2 percent from the total of 2,145,000 in April. For the first five months of 2013 (including May SIMA and April final), total and finished steel imports were 13,234,000 NT and 10,341,000 NT, down 11 percent and 9 percent from the same period in 2012.
Finished steel imports with large increases in May permits vs. the April final included reinforcing bars (up 361 percent), hot rolled bars (up 50 percent), wire rods (up 30 percent) and steel piling (up 107 percent). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2012 include steel piling (up 86 percent), sheets and strip galvanized electrolytic (up 35 percent) and cold rolled strip (up 32 percent).
In May, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (286,000 NT, up 4 percent from April), Turkey (197,000 NT up 197 percent), China (179,000 NT, up 60 percent) and Japan (147,000 NT, down 29 percent). Through the first five months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,523,000 NT, down 2 percent) and Japan (805,000 NT, down 5 percent).