September SIMA Import Permits Up 3 Percent vs. August Preliminary; YTD Finished Import Market Share Remains at 24%

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For Immediate Release
October 3, 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 September totaled 2,550,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 3% decrease from the 2,638,000 permit tons recorded in August, but an increase of 3% from the August preliminary imports total of 2,475,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 1,947,000 NT, up 1% from the preliminary imports total of 1,929,000 NT in August.  September 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 33,911,000 NT and 26,270,000 NT, up 19% and 22%, respectively, vs. the 28,515,000 NT and 21,835,000 NT imported in 2011.  The estimated finished steel import market share in September was 23%, and it is 24% through 9 months of 2012.

Finished steel imports with large increases in September permits vs. the August preliminary include hot rolled sheets (up 20%), standard rails (up 352%), plates-in-coils (up 27%), sheets & strip all other metallic coatings (up 48%), wire rods (up 21%) and standard pipe (up 18%).   Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bars (up 51%), line pipe (up 36%), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 32%), cut lengths plates (up 32%), oil country goods (up 29%) and hot rolled bars (up 17%).

“We remain greatly concerned about the level of finished steel imports into the U.S. market year-to-date,” AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson said, “especially with the increases we are seeing in key products used in the energy, construction and automotive markets.   We urge our government to be proactive in the enforcement of the trade laws and practice even greater vigilance toward evidence of foreign unfair trade practices that can be injurious to American steel producers.”

In September, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (303,000 NT, up 36% from August), Japan (161,000 NT, up 20%), Germany (113,000 NT, up 19%), China (94,000 NT, down 68%) and Taiwan (73,000 NT, up 44%).  Through the first 9 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,734,000 NT, up 23% from the same period in 2011), Japan (1,489,000 NT, up 34%) and China (1,177,000 NT, up 24%).

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 124 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.


Contact: Nancy Gravatt
202.452.7115 / ngravatt@steel.org