June imports decline by five percent from May 2012
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 2,796,000 net tons (NT). This was a 5 percent decrease from the 2,939,000 permit tons recorded in May and also a 5 percent decrease from the May preliminary imports total of 2,945,000 NT.
Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 2,171,000 NT, down 7 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,323,000 NT in May. The estimated finished steel import market share in June was 24 percent.
In June, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (331,000 NT, up 3 percent from May), China (195,000 NT, up 26 percent), Japan (152,000 NT, down 18 percent), Germany (127,000 NT, up 23 percent) and Taiwan (75,000 NT, down 5 percent). Through the first 6 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,885,000 NT, up 25 percent from the same period in 2011), Japan (1,001,000 NT, up 32 percent) and China (790,000 NT, up 41 percent).
Finished steel import permits for products that registered large increases in June versus the May preliminary include tin free steel (up 102 percent), hot rolled bars (up 9 percent) and tin plate (up 8 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases versus the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bars (up 55 percent), cut lengths plates (up 52 percent), oil country goods (up 41 percent), line pipe (up 38 percent and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 37 percent).