US import permit applications down 12.3%

Steel import permit applications in the USA for the month of July totaled 3.4Mt (net tons) down 12.3% from 3.9Mt recorded in June and down 10.6% from the June preliminary imports total of 3.8Mt (net tons). 

Figures released by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and based on the US Commerce Department's most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, show that import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 2.7Mt, down 5.3% from preliminary imports of 2.9Mt in June. For the first seven months of 2017 (including July SIMA permits and June preliminary data), total and finished steel imports were 23Mt (net tons) and 17.8Mt (net tons), up 21.7% and 16.5% respectively when compared with the same period in 2016.  The estimated finished steel import market share in July was 28% and is 27% year-to-date.

 Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits versus June preliminary included standard rail (up 189%), standard pipe (up 51%), cut lengths plates (up 21%) and oil country goods (up 19%). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases versus the same period last year include oil country goods (up 255%), cold rolled sheets (up 38%), standard pipe (up 50%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 37%), line pipe (up 37%), mechanical tubing (up 32%), hot rolled bars (up 29%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanised (up 25%), tin plate (up 10%) and wire rods (up 10%).

In July, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (333kt – net tons), down 14% from June preliminary; Turkey (211kt – net tons), down 36%; Japan (149kt – net tons), up 20%, Germany (144kt – net tons), up 24%; and Taiwan (136kt – net tons), down 17%. Through the first seven months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2.2Mt – net tons), down 5% from the same period in 2016, and Turkey (1.6Mt – net tons), up 11%; and Japan (935kt – net tons), down 12%.