June import permits down
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 total 2,565,000 net tons (NT).
This was a 10 percent decrease from the 2,853,000 permit tons recorded in May and 8 percent decrease from the May preliminary imports total of 2,802,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 2,014,000, down 5 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,123,000 in May. For the first six months of 2013 (including June SIMA and May preliminary), total and finished steel imports were 15,801,000 NT and 12,372,000 NT, respectively, down 10 percent and 9 percent from the same period in 2012.
The estimated finished steel import market share in June was 23 percent and is 23 percent year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in June permits vs. the May preliminary included hot rolled sheets (up 38 percent), plates in coils (up 25 percent), oil country goods (up 15 percent), mechanical tubing (up 12 percent) and line pipe (up 11 percent). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2012 include standard rails (up 26 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 18 percent) and tin plate (up 18 percent).
In June, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (295,000 NT, up 18 percent from May preliminary), China (173,000 NT down 6 percent), Japan (130,000 NT, down 23 percent), Germany (89,000 NT, up 40 percent) and Turkey (85,000 NT, down 50 percent).
Through the first six months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,782,000 NT, down 6 percent from the same period in 2012), Japan (956,000 NT, down 5 percent) and China (917,000 NT, up 14 percent).