US import permit applications up 31% for July

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has reported that steel import permit applications for the month of July totalled 3.57Mt (net tons). This was a 31% increase from the 2.72Mt (permit tons) recorded in June and a 75.1% increase from the June final imports total of 2.04Mt. (All figures are net tons).

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 1,88Mt, up 8.9% from the final imports total of 1,72Mt in June. For the first seven months of 2019 (including July SIMA permits and June final imports), total and finished steel imports were 19,21Mt (net tons) and 13.5Mt (net tons), down 8% and 16.2%, respectively, from the same period in 2018. Estimated finished steel import market share in July was 19% and is 21% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits versus June final imports included cut lengths plate (up 56%), line pipe (up 33%), plates in coils (up 28%), hot rolled bars (up 25%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanised (up 22%), hot rolled sheets (up 18%), mechanical tubing (15%), heavy structural shapes (up 14%), wire rods (up 14%), and standard pipe (up 13%). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases versus the same period in 2018 include black plate (up 64%), steel piling (up 43%) and tin free steel (up 19%).

In July, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (202kt), up 24% from June final, Japan (96kt) down 15%, Taiwan (81kt) down 6%), Germany (78kt) down 22% and Brazil (75kt) up 391%. Through the first seven months of 2019, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,65Mt), down 15% from the same period last year, Japan (819kt), down 6%, and Germany (694kt), down 8%.