Steel Import Permits Rise 12% Year-to-Date Finished Steel Import Market Share 17%

Washington, D.C., 2/3/2010 - 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 January totaled 1,537,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 12% increase from the 1,377,000 permit tons recorded in December 2009 and a 10% increase from the December preliminary imports total of 1,396,000 NT.     Import permit tonnage for finished steel in January was 1,179,000 NT, which was an increase of 6% from the preliminary imports total of 1,119,000 NT in December.  January 2010 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 18,447,000 NT and 14,153,000 NT, up 14% and down 0.1%, respectively, from the 16,201,000 NT and 14,165,000 NT imported in 2009

In January 2010, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (139,000 NT, up 34% from December), Japan (95,000 NT, down 7%), China (68,000 NT, up 45%), Italy (52,000 NT, up 5%) and The United Kingdom (39,000 NT, up 97%).    Finished steel import market share in January is estimated at 17%

Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in January vs. the December 2009 preliminary include oil tubular country goods (up 97%), standard rails (up 77%), heavy structural shapes (up 44%), line pipe (32%) and standard pipe (up 16%).

In commenting on the SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “The imports situation over the last several months has not changed very much.  Import market share is staying at or just below 20 percent, and the three top offshore suppliers of finished steel continue to be Asian nations.  The key thing we remain concerned about is that the domestic steel industry and manufacturing at large in the United States are only now in the beginning stages of a long, slow, fragile recovery.  Therefore, close vigilance against dumped and subsidized imports of individual products from individual countries must be maintained.” 

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