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 3,967,000 net tons (NT)*. This was an 11.2% increase from the 3,566,000 permit tons recorded in March and a 19.0% increase from the March final imports total of 3,335,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 2,923,000, up 17.6% from the final imports total of 2,485,000 in March. For the first four months of 2018 (including April SIMA permits and March final data), total and finished steel imports were 12,664,000 NT and 9,760,000 NT, up 2.9% and 3.0%, respectively, from the same period in 2017. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 29% and is 26% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in April permits vs. the March final included line pipe (up 75%), heavy structural shapes (up 68%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 65%), reinforcing bars (up 59%), tin plate (up 59%), hot rolled bars (up 40%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 31%), and cut lengths plates (up 13%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2017 include plates in coils (up 42%), hot rolled sheets (up 42%), line pipe (up 28%), mechanical tubing (up 25%), oil country goods (up 23%) and hot rolled bars (up 13%).
In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (434,000 NT, up 37% from March final), Turkey (201,000 NT, up 50%), Vietnam (131,000 NT, up 61%), Taiwan (127,000 NT, up 61%) and Germany (126,000 NT, up 71%). Through the first four months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,381,000 NT, up 14% from the same period last year), Turkey (531,000 NT, down 46%) and Japan (491,000 NT, down 6%).
* Monthly permit numbers provided to date may be understated, as entry documentation with the required import license number may be submitted up to ten days after imports have entered U.S. commerce.