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December 2007

Steel Import Permit Applications increase

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 October 2007 totaled 2,616,000 net tons (NT). This was an 8 percent increase from the 2,433,000 permit tons recorded in September 2007, a 19 percent increase from the September preliminary imports total of 2,196,000 NT and 2 percent lower than the 2005 monthly average (2006 was an all-time record year for imports).

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October 2007 was 1,844,000 NT, 2 percent below the preliminary imports of 1,876,000 NT in September. Year-to-date in 2007 (10-month total, including October SIMA data), finished steel imports remain 8 percent higher than the same period in 2005.

For October 2007, the largest volumes of steel import permit applications for countries outside of North America were Brazil (308,000 NT), China (304,000 NT) and Korea (146,000 NT). Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel (304,000 NT) were down 16 percent in October compared to the preliminary imports total for September.

In analyzing the SIMA data for the month of October, AISI President and CEO Andrew G. Sharkey, III, said that, “High levels of tubular imports and significant import tonnages in other long and flat rolled categories are a reminder that dumped and subsidized imports and import injury can occur in specific product categories. Therefore, domestic steel producers will remain vigilant in closely monitoring import levels.”