Finished steel imports up 13 percent in March

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported on April 4 that steel import permit applications for the month of March totaled 3,144,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 22-percent increase from the 2,580,000 permit tons recorded in February and a 17 percent increase from the February preliminary imports total of 2,689,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in March was 2,275,000 NT, up 11 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,051,000 NT in February.

On a quarterly basis, finished steel imports in the first quarter of 2012 were 27-percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011. March 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 34,591,000 NT and 26,120,000 NT, up 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively, vs. the 28,515,000 NT and 21,835,000 NT imported in 2011. The estimated finished steel import market share in March was 23 percent.