Total Steel Import Permit Tons Up 21 Percent in January, Import Market Share at 23 Percent

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For Immediate Release
February 2, 2012

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 total steel import permit applications for the month of January totaled 2,691,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 21% increase from the 2,230,000 permit tons recorded in December and a 35% increase from the December preliminary imports total of 1,997,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in January was 2,103,000 NT, up 39% from the preliminary imports total of 1,510,000 NT in December.  January 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 32,295,000 NT and 25,232,000 NT, up 14% and 16%, respectively, vs. the 28,448,000 NT and 21,871,000 NT imported in 2011.  The estimated finished steel import market share in January was 23%.

In January, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (358,000 NT, up 78% from December), Turkey (184,000 NT, up 179%), Japan (150,000 NT, up 45%), Germany (105,000 NT, up 25%) and China (95,000 NT, up 10%).  

Finished steel import permits for products that registered large increases in January vs. the December preliminary include reinforcing bar (up 214%), heavy structural shapes (up 177%), cold rolled sheets (up 69%), cut length plates (up 68%), line pipe (up 64%), oil country goods (up 44%), standard pipe (up 43%) and sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 34%).

“The January import numbers are another reminder that we need to be vigilant about the possibility of surges of unfairly trade steel to the United States this year, in the context of a still-fragile economic and steel market recovery,”  Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, said in commenting on the January 2012 SIMA data.

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
member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 120 associate and the
development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 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.

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Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
202.452.7115 / ngravatt@steel.org
1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 705
Washington, DC 20036
www.steel.org