September import permits up 3 percent
Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of September totaled 2,550,000 net tons (NT). This was a 3 percent decrease from the 2,638,000 permit tons recorded in August, but an increase of 3 percent from the August preliminary imports total of 2,475,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 1,947,000 NT, up 1 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,929,000 NT in August.
Finished steel imports with large increases in September permits vs. the August preliminary include hot rolled sheets (up 20 percent), standard rails (up 352 percent), plates-in-coils (up 27 percent), sheets & strip all other metallic coatings (up 48 percent), wire rods (up 21 percent) and standard pipe (up 18 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bars (up 51 percent), line pipe (up 36 percent), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 32 percent), cut lengths plates (up 32 percent), oil country goods (up 29 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 17 percent).
In September, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (303,000 NT, up 36 percent from August), Japan (161,000 NT, up 20 percent), Germany (113,000 NT, up 19 percent), China (94,000 NT, down 68 percent) and Taiwan (73,000 NT, up 44 percent). Through the first 9 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,734,000 NT, up 23 percent from the same period in 2011), Japan (1,489,000 NT, up 34 percent) and China (1,177,000 NT, up 24 percent).