November US import permit applications down 28%

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reports that steel import permit applications for the month of November totalled 1.86Mt/yr (all figures are net tons) down 28% from the 2.59Mt recorded in October and down 18.8% from the preliminary imports total of 1.47Mt in October.

For the first 11 months of 2019 (including November SIMA permits and October preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 26.6Mt and 19.5Mt, down 16.3% and 18.6%, respectively, from the same period in 2018.  The estimated finished steel import market share in November was 14% and is 19% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in November permits versus October preliminary imports included black plate (up 353%), cut lengths plates (up 39%), line pipe (up 28%), reinforcing bars (up 18%) and hot rolled bars (up 16%). Products with significant YTD increases versus the same period in 2018 include black plate (up 90%), steel piling (up 34%) and tin free steel (up 20%).

In November, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (175kt up 3% from October preliminary), Japan (75kt, up 1%), The Netherlands (71kt, up 133%), Germany (56kt, down 29%) and Taiwan (35kt, down 9%). Through the first 11 months of 2019, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,3Mt, down 10% from the same period last year), Japan (1.1Mt, down 9%) and Germany (966kt, down 21%).