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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 February totaled 2,728,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 7.6 percent decrease from the 2,953,000 permit tons recorded in January and a 3.0 percent decrease from the January final imports total of 2,814,000 NT.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 2,080,000, down 10.7 percent from the final imports total of 2,330,000 in January. For the first two months of 2017 (including February SIMA permits and January final data), total and finished steel imports were 5,543,000 NT and 4,409,000 NT, up 12.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 25 percent and is 25 percent year to date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits vs. the January final included line pipe (up 61 percent) and wire rods (up 30 percent). Products with significant YTD increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 91 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 54 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 45 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 30 percent), mechanical tubing (up 27 percent), standard pipe (up 19 percent) and tin plate (up 12 percent).

In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (292,000 NT, down 6 percent from January final), Turkey (172,000 NT, down 44 percent), Japan (103,000 NT, down 30 percent), Taiwan (88,000 NT, down 21 percent) and India (68,000 NT, up 95 percent). Through the first two months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (604,000 NT, down 2 percent from the same period in 2016), Turkey (478,000 NT, up 6 percent) and Japan (248,000 NT, down 18 percent).

Published in the April 2017 Edition of American Recycler News