Based on the US 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 September reached 2.89Mnt (million net tons). This represents an 8% decrease from the 3.13Mnt recorded in August and a 6% decrease from the August Final imports total of 3.06Mnt.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 2.22Mnt, down10% from the final imports total of 2.47Mnt in August. For the first nine months of 2015 (including September SIMA and August Final), total and finished steel imports were 30.9Mnt and 25.1Mnt respectively, down 5% and up 3% from the same period in 2014. The estimated finished steel import market share in September was 25% and is 30% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in September permits versus the August final included standard rail (up 334%), cut lengths plates (up 59%) and cold rolled sheets (up 19%). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases versus the same period last year include rebar (up 48%), line pipe (up 35%), standard pipe (up 21%), tin plate (up 15%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanised (up 13%) and wire drawn (up 11%).

In September, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (306kt net tons), up 1% from August Final, Japan (188kt net tons) down 13%, Germany (153kt net tons) up 80%, Turkey (148kt, down 13%) and China (127kt net tons) down 19%. Through the first nine months of 2015, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3.9Mnt) down 1% from the same period in 2014; Turkey (2.1Mnt) up 48%; and China (2.08Mnt) down 11%.