US steel import permit applications down 21.2%

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has reported that steel import permit applications for the month of February totaled 2.42Mt (net tons), down 21.2% from the 3.08Mt (NT) recorded in January and down 15.6% from the January preliminary imports total of 2.87Mt (NT).

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1.95Mt (NT), down 16.2% from the preliminary imports total of 2.32Mt (NT) in January.  For the first two months of this year (including February SIMA permits and January preliminary data), total and finished steel imports were 5.303Mt (NT) and 4,27Mt (NT), down 4.2% and 3.0%, respectively, from the same period in 2017. The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 24% and is 25% year-to-date.

 Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits versus January preliminary imports included heavy structural shapes (up 56%), wire rods (up 35%) and wire drawn (up 21%). Products with significant year-to date increases versus the same period in 2017 include oil country goods (up 58%), hot rolled bars (up 29%), hot rolled sheets (up 28%), line pipe (up 27%), wire drawn (up 15%) and plates in coils (up 13%). 

In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (252kt), down 26% from January preliminary figures, Germany (111kt), up 23%), Japan (110kt), down 22%, China (85kt), up 18%, and Taiwan (68kt), down 42%. All these figures are net tons.  Through the first two months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (591kt), up 3%, Japan (251kt), up 2%, and Germany (201kt), up 50%.

• All figures are based on the US Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data.