Steel Import Permits Decrease 15 Percent August Import Market Share at 20 Percent

Washington, D.C., 9/1/2010 - 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 August totaled 2,082,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 15% decrease from the 2,436,000 permit tons recorded in July and a 14% decrease from the July preliminary imports total of 2,415,000 NT.    Import permit tonnage for finished steel in August was 1,623,000 NT, down 10% from the preliminary imports total of 1,797,000 NT in July.  August total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 24,305,000 NT and 18,912,000 NT, up 49% and 33%, respectively, from the 16,215,000 NT and 14,179,000 NT imported in 2009.

In August, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (189,000 NT, down 4% from July), Japan (148,000 NT, up 19%), Turkey (103,000 NT, up 110%), China (101,000 NT, up 8%) and Taiwan (73,000 NT, up 172%).   This was the first month import permit tonnage for China has exceeded 100,000 NT since May 2009.  Finished steel import market share in August and year-to-date are 20% and 21%, respectively.

Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in August vs. the July preliminary include sheet and strip all other metallic coatings (up 76%), reinforcing bar (up 59%) and hot rolled bars (up 15%).

In commenting on the August SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “While finished steel imports receded in August, they remain at a 20 percent market share in the context of uncertainty about the strength and stability of our economic recovery and substantial underutilized domestic steel capacity.  Given this uncertainty, it is more important than ever that steel producers in the United States remain vigilant regarding dumped and subsidized imports and any efforts to evade U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders. " 

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 23 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