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Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported on Aug. 4 that steel import permit applications for the month of July totaled 2,447,000 net tons (NT).
This was a 13-percent decrease from the 2,797,000 permit tons recorded in June and a 8-percent decrease from the June preliminary imports total of 2,670,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 2,012,000 NT, down 5 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,110,000 NT in June.
Year-to date (YTD) 2011 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 29,240,000 NT and 22,404,000 NT, up 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively, vs. the 23,929,000 NT and 18,857,000 NT imported in 2010. The estimated finished steel import market share in July was 23 percent and is 22 percent year-to-date.
In July, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (305,000 NT, up 1 percent from June), China (148,000 NT, down 8 percent), Japan (136,000 NT, up 11 percent), Australia (104,000 NT, up 168 percent) and Russia (81,000 NT, down 21 percent).
Finished steel import permits for major products that registered increases in July vs. the June preliminary include standard rails (up 81 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 41 percent) and standard pipe (up 11 percent).
“While the number of steel import permits is down in July, they still reflect a significant import share in the U.S. market,” Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, said. “Especially with recent signs of a slowdown in economic growth, it is essential that the U.S. government aggressively enforce America’s trade laws against dumped and subsidized imports.”