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Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of December totaled 2,648,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 9.6 percent decrease from the 2,930,000 permit tons recorded in November and a 5.6 percent decrease from the November preliminary imports total of 2,804,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in December was 2,069,000, down 3.0 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,132,000 in November. For the full year of 2016 (including December SIMA permits and November preliminary data), total and finished steel imports were 32,969,000 NT and 26,248,000 NT, down 15.0 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2015. The estimated finished steel import market share in December was 26 percent and is 26 percent year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in December permits vs. the November preliminary included steel piling (up 410 percent), standard rails (up 164 percent), oil country goods (up 36 percent), tin plate (up 27 percent), line pipe (up 23 percent), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 14 percent) and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 10 percent). Tin plate (up 15 percent) had a significant increase in 2016 vs. the prior year.

In December, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (238,000 NT, down 12 percent from November preliminary), Turkey (175,000 NT, down 4 percent), Japan (133,000 NT, up 34 percent), Taiwan (125,000 NT, up 46 percent) and Germany (85,000 NT, down 2 percent). For full year 2016, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,780,000 NT, down 22 percent from the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,435,000 NT, down 14 percent) and Japan (1,817,000 NT, down 20 percent).

Published in the February 2017 Edition of American Recycler News