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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 May totaled 3,598,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 2.2 percent increase from the 3,519,000 permit tons recorded in April and a 7.4 percent increase from the April final imports total of 3,351,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 2,593,000, up 2.6 percent from the final imports total of 2,528,000 in April. For the first five months of 2017 (including May SIMA permits and April final data), total and finished steel imports were 15,904,000 NT and 12,069,000 NT, up 23.4 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in May was 27 percent and is 26 percent year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in May permits vs. the April final included standard rail (up 119 percent), reinforcing bars (up 67 percent), cut lengths plates (up 40 percent), plates in coils (up 30 percent), wire rods (up 28 percent), tin plate (up 25 percent), standard pipe (up 16 percent) and line pipe (up 12 percent). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 233 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 37 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 36 percent), standard pipe (up 33 percent), mechanical tubing (up 29 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 25 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 21 percent).

In May, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (308,000 NT, down 4 percent from April final), Turkey (190,000 NT, up 2 percent), Germany (149,000 NT, up 33 percent), Japan (146,000 NT, up 2 percent) and Taiwan (93,000 NT, down 22 percent). Through the first five months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,518,000 NT, down 5 percent from the same period in 2016), Turkey (1,178,000 NT, up 18 percent) and Japan (668,000 NT, down 6 percent).

Published in the July 2017 Edition of American Recycler News