Finished Steel Imports in May Were Near 2012 Peak Monthly Level; Import Market Share Remains at 24 Percent

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For Immediate Release:
June 6, 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 steel import permit applications for the month of May totaled 2,895,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 10% decrease from the 3,230,000 permit tons recorded in April and a 3% decrease from the April preliminary imports total of 2,997,000 NT.    Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 2,298,000 NT, down 2% from the preliminary imports total of 2,336,000 NT in April.  The 2.3 million permit tons of finished steel imports in May was the 2nd highest monthly total in 2012 and only slightly below the April 2012 peak amount.  May 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 34,787,000 NT and 26,731,000 NT, each up 22%, respectively, vs. the 28,515,000 NT and 21,835,000 NT imported in 2011.  The estimated finished steel import market share in May was 24%.

In May, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (301,000 NT, up 12% from April), Japan (203,000 NT, up 42%), China (170,000 NT, up 20%), Turkey (124,000 NT, down 27%) and Germany (119,000 NT, up 40%).  Through the first 5 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,496,000 NT, up 26% from the same period in 2011), Japan (831,000 NT, up 31%) and Turkey (806,000 NT, up 123%).
Finished steel import permits for products that registered large increases in May vs. the April preliminary include standard pipe (up 38%), line pipe (up 38%), cold rolled sheets (up 27%), oil country goods (up 26%) and hot rolled bars (up 26%).   Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bars (up 54%), cut length plates (up 52%) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 43%).  

In commenting on the May 2012 SIMA data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “At a time when U.S. economic growth is again slowing and our recovery remains fragile and far from complete, steel imports are near their highest levels for the year and import market share is above last year’s level.  Especially in the current jobs and growth environment, the U.S. government should have zero tolerance for unfair trade surges, and we encourage our government leaders to use all available tools to prevent further import injury to steel and other U.S. manufacturers. ”
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 124 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 over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at

Contact: Nancy Gravatt / 202.452.7115


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