Steel import permits decline

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 June totaled 1,955,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 15 percent decrease from the 2,297,000 permit tons recorded in May and a 12 percent decrease from the May preliminary imports total of 2,226,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 1,524,000 NT. This was a 12 percent decrease from the preliminary imports total of 1,722,000 NT in May. June total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 23,116,000 NT and 18,165,000 NT, up 43 percent and 28 percent, respectively, from the 16,215,000 NT and 14,179,000 NT imported in 2009.

In June, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (154,000 NT, down 14 percent from May), China (79,000 NT, up 32 percent), Taiwan (76,000 NT, up 243 percent), Japan (70,000 NT, down 42 percent) and Germany (64,000 NT, down 34 percent). Finished steel import market share in June is estimated at 19 percent and is estimated to be at 20 percent year-to-date.

Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in June vs. the May preliminary include reinforcing bar (up 117 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 37 percent), standard pipe (up 14 percent) and cut length plates (up 11 percent).