US January 2018 steel import permits up 17.7%

US steel import permit applications for the month of January 2018 totalled 2.9Mt (net tons), according to steel import monitoring data produced by the US Department of Commerce and released by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The January total represents a 17.7% increase on December 2017 figures of 2.47Mt (net tons) and an 18.9% increase on December’s final imports total of 2.45Mt.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in January was 2.3Mt, up 226% from the final imports total of 1.8Mt in December. The estimated finished steel import market share in January was 26%.

According to the AISI, finished steel imports with large increases in January permits vs. the December final included sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 134%), reinforcing bars (up 133%), oil country goods (up 73%), line pipe (up 56%), hot rolled sheets (up 24%), hot rolled bars (up 17%),  standard pipe (up 15%) and plates in coils (up 10%).

In January, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (362kt – net tons), up 89% from December final); Turkey (170kt – net tons), up 192%; Japan (135kt – net tons), up 65%; Taiwan (125kt – net tons), up 208%; and Germany (89kt – net tons), down 15%.