AISI Releases March SIMA Imports Data

April 8, 2020

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 March totaled 2,323,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 24.0% increase from the 1,873,000 permit tons recorded in February and a 53.9% increase from the February final imports total of 1,510,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in March was 1,544,000, up 14.6% from the final imports total of 1,348,000 in February. For the first three months of 2020 (including March SIMA permits and February final imports), total and finished steel imports were 6,983,000 NT and 4,540,000 NT, down 14.7% and 25.0%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. The estimated finished steel import market share in March was 17% and is 17% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in March permits vs. the February final imports included oil country goods (up 101%), line pipe (up 66%), structural pipe and tubing (up 57%), tin free steel (up 47%), cold rolled sheets (up 34%), hot rolled bars (up 34%), cut lengths plates (up 28%), wire rods (up 21%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 14%), standard pipe (up 14%) and wire drawn (up 14%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2019 include tin free steel (up 35%) and mechanical tubing (up 17%).

In March, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (231,000 NT, up 46% from February final), Taiwan (65,000 NT, up 99%), Germany (61,000 NT, up 17%), Turkey (60,000 NT, down 18%) and Japan (57,000 NT, down 18%). Through the first three months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (572,000 NT, down 21% from the same period last year), Japan (203,000 NT, down 39%) and Turkey (183,000 NT, up 43%).

*Note that import permits data are counts of tonnages requested in applications for licenses to import steel mill products and are not actual import volumes. For a number of reasons, permit tonnages may understate or overstate actual import volumes for the month, preliminary estimates of which will be available later this month.


Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

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’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).