DECEMBER 2011

Steel import permits down three percent in October

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 2,192,000 net tons (NT). This was a 3 percent decrease from the 2,269,000 permit tons recorded in September and a 2 percent decrease from the September preliminary imports total of 2,238,000 NT.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 1,819,000 NT, up 9 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,662,000 NT in September. Year-to date (YTD) 2011 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 28,989,000 NT and 22,203,000 NT, up 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, vs. the 23,929,000 NT and 18,857,000 NT imported in 2010. The estimated finished steel import market share in October was 22 percent and is 22 percent year-to-date.

In October, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (220,000 NT, up 4 percent from September), Japan (137,000 NT, up 15 percent), China (111,000 NT, up 3 percent), Australia (96,000 NT, up 94 percent) and Germany (71,000 NT, up 12 percent).

Finished steel import permits for major products that registered increases in October vs. the September preliminary include hot rolled sheets (up 50 percent), hot rolled bars (up 30 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 23 percent), mechanical tubing (up 19 percent) and wire rods (up 15 percent).