AISI Releases May SIMA Imports Data

June 3, 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 May totaled 2,235,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 25.0% decrease from the 2,981,000 permit tons recorded in April and a 19.4% decrease from the April preliminary imports total of 2,773,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 1,514,000, up 15.7% from the preliminary imports total of 1,309,000 in April. For the first five months of 2020 (including May SIMA permits and April preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 11,421,000 NT and 7,332,000 NT, down 16.0% and 26.4%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. The estimated finished steel import market share in May was 23% and is 19% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in May permits vs. the April preliminary imports included oil country goods (up 93%), standard pipe (up 33%), hot rolled bars (up 29%), line pipe (up 26%), tin plate (up 24%), mechanical tubing (up 18%), cut lengths plates (up 15%), wire rods (up 13%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 12%) and cold rolled sheets (up 11%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2019 include tin free steel (up 29%) and light shapes bars (up 18%).

In May, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (235,000 NT, up 46% from April preliminary), Japan (103,000 NT, up 50%), Turkey (98,000 NT, up 86%), Taiwan (84,000 NT, up 75%) and Germany (72,000 NT, up 14%). Through the first five months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (943,000 NT, down 27% from the same period last year), Japan (373,000 NT, down 39%) and Germany (305,000 NT, down 41%).

*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).