Steel Imports Drop 23 Percent

Washington, D.C., July 1, 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 June totaled 810,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 23% decrease from the 1,055,000 permit tons recorded in May 2009 and a 21% decrease from the May preliminary imports total of 1,020,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 781,000 NT, a decrease of 22% from the preliminary imports total of 1,002,000 NT in May and the lowest such monthly import figure since 1975.   June 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 17,112,000 NT and 16,026,000 NT, down 46% and 38%, respectively, from the 31,927,000 NT and 25,956,000 NT imported in 2008.

In June 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Japan (54,000 NT, down 11% from May), India (52,000 NT, up 85%), South Korea (40,000 NT, down 66%) and China (37,000 NT, down 75%).   Finished steel import market share in June is estimated at 17%.
Finished steel import products that registered increases in June vs. the May preliminary include Standard Rails (up 76%), Wire Rods (up 53%), Heavy Structural Shapes (up 46%) and Line Pipe (up 12%).  Year-to-date, imports of Standard Rails have increased (up 16%).

In commenting on the June data, Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said, “While import tonnage seems to be falling across the market, we are still concerned about unfairly traded imports, especially in these severely depressed economic conditions.  In addition, we will continue to monitor the elevated import market share, which at 28 percent, continues to cause us great concern at a time when our domestic steel industry is operating at only 49 percent of capability.”

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