Steel Import Permits Rise 16% Year-To-Date Finished Steel Import Market Share 22%

Washington, D.C., November 4, 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 October totaled 1,491000 net tons (NT).  This was a 16% increase from the 1,283,000 permit tons recorded in September 2009 and a 24% increase from the September preliminary imports total of 1,204,000 NT.    

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 1,187,000 NT, which was also an increase of 16% from the preliminary imports total of 1,024,000 NT in September.  October 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 15,942,000 NT and 14,374,000 NT, down 50% and 45%, respectively, from the 31,927,000 NT and 25,956,000 NT imported in 2008.

In October 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (116,000 NT, up 80% from September), Japan (94,000 NT, up 85%), Turkey (69,000 NT, up 507%), the Netherlands (68,000 NT, up 192%) and China (56,000 NT, up 35%).    Finished steel import market share in October is estimated at 18% and at 22% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in October vs. the September preliminary include wire rods (up 50%), line pipe (up 40%), oil country goods (up 39%) and hot rolled bars (up 39%).

“In commenting on the October SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “With utilization rates for domestic steel and U.S. manufacturing more broadly remaining at very low levels, stronger government efforts are needed to defend and enforce our trade laws and trade agreements, and to counter foreign unfair trade practices both in the U.S. market and in third country markets.  This is why AISI commends Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) for their recent introduction of a new ‘Super 301’ bill, which will help level the international trade playing field for American manufacturers.   Passage of this bill is an essential step toward enhanced U.S. government enforcement efforts to identify -- and eliminate -- priority foreign unfair trade practices, which are continuing to undermine our domestic manufacturing base.”

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
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115