Steel import permits decrease 13 percent

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 totaled 1,812,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 13 percent decrease from the 2,075,000 permit tons recorded in September and a 14 percent decrease from the September preliminary imports total of 2,107,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 1,535,000 NT, down 3 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,589,000 NT in September. October total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 24,271,000 NT and 18,969,000 NT, up 50 percent and 34 percent, respectively, from the 16,215,000 NT and 14,179,000 NT imported in 2009.

In October, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (202,000 NT, down 3 percent from September), Japan (136,000 NT, up 21 percent), India (73,000 NT, up 331 percent), Germany (71,000 NT, up 23 percent) and China (56,000 NT, down 44 percent). Finished steel import market shares in October and year-to-date are 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Finished steel import permits for major products that registered significant increases in October vs. the September preliminary include heavy structural shapes (up 53 percent), standard rail (up 29 percent), standard pipe (up 28 percent), hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 22 percent), cold finished bars (up 19 percent) and wire drawn (up 17 percent).