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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 November totaled 2,850,000 net tons (NT).

This was an 8.8 percent decrease from the 3,123,000 permit tons recorded in October and a 10.5 percent decrease from the October final imports total of 3,183,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in November was 2,207,000, down 13.6 percent from the final imports total of 2,554,000 in October. For the first 11 months of 2017 (including November SIMA permits and October final data), total and finished steel imports were 35,764,000 NT and 27,718,000 NT, up 17.9 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in November was 25 percent and is 27 percent year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in November permits vs. the October final included standard rails (up 1698 percent), hot rolled bars (up 13 percent) and tin plate (up 12 percent). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 226 percent), line pipe (up 69 percent), standard pipe (up 41 percent), mechanical tubing (up 31 percent), hot rolled bars (up 26 percent), structural pipe and tubing (up 22 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 22 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 18 percent) and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 15 percent).

In November, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (216,000 NT, down 45 percent from October final), Germany (171,000 NT, up 9 percent), Japan (110,000 NT, up 52 percent), The Netherlands (101,000 NT, up 105 percent) and Brazil (92,000 NT, down 2 percent). Through the first eleven months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,563,000 NT, up 0.6 percent), Turkey (2,142,000 NT, down 5 percent) and Japan (1,417,000 NT, down 29 percent).

Published in the January 2018 Edition