US imports account for 27% of US steel market – AISI
Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of December totaled 2,473,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 13.6% decrease from the 2,861,000 permit tons recorded in November and a 10.5% decrease from the November final imports total of 2,762,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in December was 1,854,000, down 14.6% from the final imports total of 2,170,000 in November. For the full year 2017 (including December SIMA permits and November final data), total and finished steel imports were 38,149,000 NT and 29,534,000 NT, up 15.5% and 12.1%, respectively, from 2016. The estimated finished steel import market share in December was 22% and is estimated at 27% for 2017.
Finished steel imports with large increases in December permits compared to the November final included tool steel (up 52%), heavy structural shapes (up 42%), tin free steel (up 30%) and mechanical tubing (up 11%). Products with significant 2017 increases include oil country goods (up 197%), line pipe (up 62%), standard pipe (up 39%), mechanical tubing (up 30%), hot rolled bars (up 23%), structural pipe and tubing (up 19%), cold rolled sheets (up 15%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 13%) and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 11%).
In December, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (179,000 NT, down 16% from November final), Brazil (99,000 NT, up 1%, Japan (86,000 NT, down 25%), Germany (84,000 NT, down 41%) and The Netherlands (61,000 NT, down 45%). In 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,740,000 NT, down 1.9% from 2016), Turkey (2,186,000 NT, down 9% from 2016) and Japan (1,509,000 NT, down 16% from 2016).