Finished steel import permits up 15 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 June totaled 2,734,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 3 percent decrease from the 2,807,000 permit tons recorded in May and a 2 percent increase from the May preliminary imports total of 2,692,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 2,109,000 NT, up 15 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,838,000 NT in May. The estimated finished steel import market share in June was 23 percent, and the year-to-date share increased to 22 percent.

In June, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (318,000 NT, up 49 percent from May), China (154,000 NT, up 29 percent), Japan (141,000 NT, up 8 percent), Russia (100,000 NT, up 102 percent) and Turkey (94,000 NT, up 36 percent).

Finished steel import permits for major products that registered increases in June versus the May preliminary include sheet and strip – all other metallic coated (up 90 percent), reinforcing bar (up 64 percent), cut length plates (up 40 percent), line pipe (up 24 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 22 percent), oil country goods (up 17 percent) and plates in coils (up 17 percent).

In commenting on the June 2011 SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “Finished steel imports were at their highest level in 2011, as China increased its market presence and became the second largest offshore supplier behind Korea.