US steel import permit applications for the month of July 2018 totalled 3.2Mt, up 8.4% from the June figure of 2.9Mt and a 28.4% increase from June’s final imports total of 2.4Mt [all figures in this article are net tons].

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 2.2Mt, up 23.5% from June’s final imports total of 1.8Mt, according to figures released by the US Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data and reported by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

For the first seven months of 2018 (and including July SIMA permits and June final data) total and finished steel imports reached 21.08Mt and 16.3Mt, down 9.2% and 9.3% respectively from the same period in 2017. According to the AISI, the estimated finished steel import market share in July was 24% and is 25% year-to-date.

Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits versus the June final imports figure included rebar (up 228%); heavy structural shapes (up 180%); tin plate (up 54%); hot rolled sheets (up 42%); line pipe (up 33%); cut lengths plate (up 27%); oil country goods (up 23%); cold rolled sheets (up 23%; plates in coils (up 20%); mechanical tubing (up 19%); sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 17%); hot rolled bars (up 11%); and wire rod (up 11%). Products with significant year-to-date increases versus the same period in 2017 include plates in coils (up 19%); hot rolled sheets (also up 19%) and line pipe (up 11%).

The largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (194kt, down 8% from June final). Japan was second with 134kt, up 4%) followed by Vietnam (117kt, down 5%). In fourth place was Italy with 114kt, up 243%) and Germany was in fifth place with 100kt, down 10%)

South Korea was the largest offshore suppliers through the first seven months of 2018 (1.9Mt, down 15%). Japan was second with 875kt (down 7%); and Germany was third with 761kt (up 1%).