Import permits down by 6 percent in July
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 total 2,476,000 net tons (NT). This was a 6 percent decrease from the 2,626,000 permit tons recorded in June and 1 percent increase from June final imports.
Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 1,929,000, down 2 percent from the final imports total of 1,974,000 in June. For the first 7 months of 2013 (including July SIMA), total and finished steel imports were 18,208,000 NT and 14,298,000 NT, respectively.
Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits versus the June final included wire rods (up 74 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 31 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 27 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 15 percent). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases versus the same period in 2012 include heavy structural shapes (up 25 percent), standard rail (up 18 percent) and tin plate (up 18 percent).
In July, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (268,000 NT, up 12 percent from June final), China (155,000 NT up 1 percent), Japan (140,000 NT, up 6 percent) and Germany (90,000 NT, down 15 percent).