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 April totaled 2,959,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 13.9% decrease from the 3,436,000 permit tons recorded in March and a 68.8% increase from the March final imports total of 1,753,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 1,317,000, down 13.0% from the final imports total of 1,514,000 in March. For the first four months of 2020 (including April SIMA permits and March final imports), total and finished steel imports were 9,371,000 NT and 5,827,000 NT, down 18.7% and 28.1%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 21% and is 18% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in April permits vs. the March final imports included heavy structural shapes (up 89%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 34%), reinforcing bar (up 21%) and tin plate (up 19%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2019 include non-classified pipe and tubing (up 75%), light shapes bars (up 27%) and tin free steel (up 15%).
In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (165,000 NT, down 20% from March final), Brazil (65,000 NT, up 357%), Japan (64,000 NT, up 14%), Germany (64,000 NT, down 8%) and Turkey (56,000 NT, up 72%). Through the first four months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (712,000 NT, down 29% from the same period last year), Japan (266,000 NT, down 45%) and Germany (233,000 NT, down 49%).
*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).