Steel import permit applications reached a total of 2,007,000 net tons for the month of September, according to the latest report from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The September total represents an 11% decrease from the 2,252,000 permit tons recorded in August, and a 7% decrease from the August preliminary imports total of 2,155,000 net tons.
The report, which is based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, also shows that the September total included finished steel import permit tonnage of 1,523,000 net tons, down 9% from the preliminary imports total of 1668,000 net tons in August.
September total steel import permit tons would annualize at 24,390,000 net tons, up 50% from the 16,215,000 net tons imported in 2009. September finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 18,914,000 net tons, up 33% from the 14,179,000 net tons imported in 2009.
In September, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (213,000 net tons, up 8% from August), Japan (101,000 net tons, down 26%), China (89,000 net tons, down 10%), Germany (53,000 net tons, down 18%), and Russia (52,000 net tons, up 613%). Finished steel import market share in September and year-to-date are 20% and 21%, respectively.
Finished steel import permits for major product categories that registered significant increases in September vs. the August preliminary include cut-length plates (up 40%), cold rolled sheets (up 29%), and hot rolled sheets (up 25%).
“With capability utilization in the United States still at only 71%, the continuing 20% market share that imports are claiming is a concern,” stated AISI president and CEO Thomas J. Gibson, commenting on the September SIMA data. “The focus must remain on full and strict trade law enforcement against dumped and subsidized imports.”
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. The Institutes comprises 23 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.