Steel Import Permits Increase 26%, Highest Total since March

Year-to-date finished import market share still 23%

Washington, D.C., 10/07/2009, -Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of September totaled 1,252,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 26% increase from the 997,000 permit tons recorded in August 2009 and a 47% increase from the August preliminary imports total of 855,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 1,024,000 NT, an increase of 30% from the preliminary imports total of 786,000 NT in August.  September 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 15,629,000 NT and 14,344,000 NT, down 51% and 45%, respectively, from the 31,927,000 NT and 25,956,000 NT imported in 2008

In September 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (64,000 NT, down 24% from August), The Netherlands (51,000 NT, up 89%), Japan (45,000 NT, up 63%) and China (44,000 NT, up 45%).   Finished steel import market share in September is estimated at 16% and at 23% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel import permits for products that registered increases in September vs. the August preliminary include line pipe (93%), oil country goods (81%), cut length plates (79%), heavy structural shapes (68%), hot dipped galvanized sheets (49%) and hot rolled sheets (34%).

“The September import surge is of serious concern,” Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, said.  “Once again, we see a significant increase in imports threatening important product markets, including, as the data indicates, line pipe, oil country goods and heavy structural shapes, among others.  Year-to-date import market share at 23% remains a problem, when the domestic steel industry is still operating at around 60% and the construction market is sluggish, at best.  It will take a long time for the U.S. economy and the steel market to recover.  Given this fact, there must be zero tolerance for dumped and subsidized imports.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications