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 February totaled 1,823,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 47.5% decrease from the 3,470,000 permit tons recorded in January and a 41.8% decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 3,135,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,358,000, down 16.8% from the preliminary imports total of 1,633,000 in January. For the first two months of 2020 (including February SIMA permits and January preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 4,958,000 NT and 2,991,000 NT, down 16.1% and 28.7%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 16% and is 16% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits vs. the January preliminary imports included heavy structural shapes (up 45%) and tin plate (up 20%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2019 include tin free steel (up 69%) and mechanical tubing (up 11%).
In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (155,000 NT, down 15% from January preliminary), Turkey (89,000 NT, up 75%), Japan (75,000 NT, down 2%), Germany (51,000 NT, up 5%) and Taiwan (43,000 NT, up 4%). Through the first two months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (337,000 NT, down 39% from the same period last year), Japan (151,000 NT, down 34%) and Turkey (139,000 NT, up 39%).
*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
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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 www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).