Total Steel Import Permits Decrease 3% April Import Market Share at 20%

Washington, D.C., 5/6/2010 - 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 April totaled 1,968 ,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 3% decrease from the 2,027,000 permit tons recorded in March and no change from the March preliminary imports total of 1,971,000 NT.     Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 1,597,000 NT, a 5% decrease from the 1,679,000 permit tons recorded in March and a 2% increase from the March preliminary imports total of 1,568,000 NT.  Finished steel import market share in April is estimated at 20% (vs. less than 15% in August of last year).  March total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 21,548,000 NT and 17,018,000 NT, up 33% and 20%, respectively, from the 16,215,000 NT and 14,179,00 NT imported in 2009.

In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (168,000 NT, up 54% from March), Japan (91,000 NT, down 33%), Turkey (87,000 NT, up 77%), Germany (81,000 NT, down 2%) and China (56,000 NT, down 3%).  

Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in April vs. the March preliminary include sheet and strip all other metallic coated (up 91%), reinforcing bar (up 97%), heavy structural shapes (up 77%), line pipe (up 25%), plates in coils (up 19%), and cut length plates (up 18%).

“Our primary concern regarding steel imports is the fact that with domestic capacity utilization still lagging below 75 percent, we nevertheless see imports claiming 20 percent of market share,” Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO,said, commenting on the April SIMA data.  “We continue to monitor very closely the import numbers and urge our government to be vigilant regarding any surges of unfairly traded steel into the U.S. market.”

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