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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 October totaled 3,110,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 0.8 percent increase from the 3,084,000 permit tons recorded in September and a 0.3 percent decrease from the September final imports total of 3,118,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 2,419,000, down 3.4 percent from the final imports total of 2,504,000 in September. For the first 10 months of 2017 (including October SIMA permits and September final data), total and finished steel imports were 32,841,000 NT and 25,375,000 NT, up 19.4 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in October was 26 percent and is 27 percent year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in October permits vs. the September final included steel piling (up 159 percent), tin free steel (up 45 percent), structural pipe and tubing (up 32 percent), cut lengths plates (up 25 percent), plates in coils (up 20 percent), hot rolled bars (up 17 percent) and standard pipe (up 13 percent). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 231 percent), line pipe (up 61 percent), standard pipe (up 44 percent), mechanical tubing (up 34 percent), structural pipe and tubing (up 29 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 26 percent), hot rolled bars (up 24 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 23 percent), and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 16 percent).

In October, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (326,000 NT, down 1 percent from September final), Turkey (136,000 NT, up 13 percent), Germany (135,000 NT, down 12 percent), Brazil (91,000 NT, down 17 percent) and Japan (91,000 NT, down 46 percent). Through the first ten months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,282,000 NT, up 0.4 percent), Turkey (2,089,000 NT, up 1 percent) and Japan (1,326,000 NT, down 16 percent).

Published in the December 2017 Edition of American Recycler News