October SIMA Impost Permits Up 11 Percent vs. September Preliminary; YTD Finished Import Market Share Remains at 24%

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For Immediate Release:
November 8, 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 October totaled 2,700,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 3% increase from the 2,618,000 permit tons recorded in September and up 11% from the September preliminary imports total of 2,440,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in October was 2,141,000 NT, up 14% from the preliminary imports total of 1,886,000 NT in September.  October 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 33,867,000 NT and 26,282,000 NT, up 19% and 20%, respectively, vs. the 28,515,000 NT and 21,835,000 NT imported in 2011.  The estimated finished steel import market share in October was 25%, and it is 24% through 10 months of 2012.

Finished steel imports with large increases in October permits vs. the September preliminary include reinforcing bars (up 70%), heavy structural shapes (up 68%), line pipe (up 62%), standard rails (up 54%), hot rolled bars (up 22%) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 16%).   Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bars (up 53%), line pipe (up 40%), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 35%), oil country goods (up 29%) and cut lengths plates (up 26%).

In October, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (379,000 NT, up 28% from September), Japan (182,000 NT, up 13%), China (133,000 NT, up 44%), Germany (115,000 NT, up 15%) and Turkey (94,000 NT, up 136%).  Through the first 10 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,162,000 NT, up 30% from the same period in 2011), Japan (1,696,000 NT, up 38%) and China (1,315,000 NT, up 24%).

“Steel imports are surging into the U.S. market and impeding the domestic industry’s full recovery from the economic recession,” AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson said.  “This import surge is not driven by U.S. demand.   It is largely the result of government subsidies, irrational capacity expansion, currency manipulation, trade barriers and dumping.  We urge our government to take aggressive actions to address this problem before more injury occurs, and to stem the current import surge and address the anti-competitive behavior of our trading partners.” 

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 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 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 www.steel.org.

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Contact: Nancy Gravatt
202.452.7115 / ngravatt@steel.org