Steel imports permits rise

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 July totaled 951,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 5 percent increase from the 902,000 permit tons recorded in June 2009 and a 12 percent increase from the June preliminary imports total of 849,000 NT.

This was the first monthly increase this year. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 851,000 NT, an increase of 7 percent from the preliminary imports total of 798,000 NT in June. July 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 16,392,000 NT and 15,249,000 NT, down 49 percent and 41 percent, respectively, from the 31,927,000 NT and 25,956,000 NT imported in 2008.

In July 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Japan (87,000 NT, up 47 percent from June), South Korea (75,000 NT, up 88 percent), Turkey (32,000 NT, up 1,500 percent) and China (30,000 NT, down 32 percent). Finished steel import market share in July is estimated at 16 percent and at 25 percent year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel import products that registered increases in July vs. the June preliminary include Sheet & Strip – All Other Metallic Coatings (up 135 percent), Plates in Coils (up 79 percent), Bars – Light Shapes (up 78 percent), Reinforcing Bar (up 70 percent) and Hot Rolled Bar (up 25 percent).