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 June totaled 3,502,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 3.7% decrease from the 3,637,000 permit tons recorded in May and a 2.0% increase from the May preliminary imports total of 3,434,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in June was 2,724,000, up 5.8% from the preliminary imports total of 2,574,000 in May. For the first six months of 2017 (including June SIMA permits and May preliminary data), total and finished steel imports were 19,243,000 NT and 14,775,000 NT, up 22.5% and 15.2%, respectively, from the same period in 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in June was 29% and is 27% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in June permits vs. the May preliminary included reinforcing bars (up 190%), standard rail (up 30%), heavy structural shapes (up 30%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 26%), hot rolled sheets (up 23%), structural pipe and tubing (up 20%), mechanical tubing (up 15%), cold rolled sheets (up 12%) and oil country goods (up 11%). Products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 237%), cold rolled sheets (up 36%), standard pipe (up 33%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 29%), line pipe (up 29%), mechanical tubing (up 27%), hot rolled bars (up 24%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 24%) and tin plate (up 15%).
In June, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (381,000 NT, up 16% from May preliminary), Turkey (319,000 NT, up 107%), Japan (139,000 NT, up 10%), Taiwan (132,000 NT, up 84%) and Germany (123,000 NT, down 13%). Through the first six months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,921,000 NT, down 1% from the same period in 2016), Turkey (1,461,000 NT, up 22%) and Japan (790,000 NT, down 9%).