Steel Import Permits Down 3 % in October, October Import Market Share at 22%

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                              CONTACT:  NANCY GRAVATT

November 2, 2011                                                                                                            202.452.7115/ ngravatt@steel.org

Washington, D.C. - 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 2,192,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 3% decrease from the 2,269,000 permit tons recorded in September and a 2% decrease from the September preliminary imports total of 2,238,000 NT.    Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 1,819,000 NT, up 9% from the preliminary imports total of 1,662,000 NT in September.  Year-to date (YTD) 2011 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 28,989,000 NT and 22,203,000 NT, up 21% and 18%, respectively, vs. the 23,929,000 NT and 18,857,000 NT imported in 2010.  The estimated finished steel import market share in October was 22% and is 22% year-to-date.

In October, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (220,000 NT, up 4% from September), Japan (137,000 NT, up 15%), China (111,000 NT, up 3%), Australia (96,000 NT, up 94%) and Germany (71,000 NT, up 12%).

Finished steel import permits for major products that registered increases in October vs. the September preliminary include hot rolled sheets (up 50%), hot rolled bars (up 30%), sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 23%), mechanical tubing (up 19%) and wire rods (up 15%).   

In commenting on the October 2011 SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “In spite of a modest 3 percent decline in steel imports in October, import market share -- at 22 percent -- remains stubbornly high.  Our manufacturing sector is still slowly recovering from the economic crisis and we must remain focused to ensure that this recovery is not undercut by unfair trade policies.”

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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 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 118 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 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.