Steel import permit applications for the month of July 2015 increased by 4% to 3.2 million net tons when compared with the June 2015 figure of 3.1 million permit tons, according to US Commerce Department Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) the import tonnage for finished steel in July was 2.5Mt, up 3% from the preliminary imports total of 2.4Mt recorded in June.

For the first seven months of 2015, total and finished steel imports were 24.9 million net tons and 20.3 million net tons respectively, down 0.2% and up 9% from the same period of 2014.

The estimated finished steel import market share in July was 27% and is 31% year-to-date.

Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits versus the June preliminary included standard rails (up 345%); rebar (up 137%); cold-rolled sheet (up 18%); heavy structural shapes (up 15%) and hot dipped galvanised sheet and strip (up 13%).

Products with significant year-to-date increases versus the same period in 2014 include line pipe (up 55%); rebar (up 53%); standard pipe (up 32%); sheets and strip galvanised hot dipped (up 20%); tin plate (up 15%); plates in coils (up 14%); heavy structural shapes (up 13%); cold-rolled sheet (up 13%); and cut length plates (up 12%).

The largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries in July were South Korea (298,000 net tons – down 1%); Turkey (269,000 net tons – up 48%); China (262,000 net tons – up 48%); Japan (149,000 net tons – down 26%); and Germany (149,000 – down 2%).

During the first seven months of 2015, South Korea, China and Turkey respectively were the largest offshore suppliers with 3.3, 1.8 and 1.7 million net tons supplied.