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 2,894,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 3.6% increase from the 2,794,000 permit tons recorded in March and a 27.4% increase from the March final imports total of 2,271,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 1,983,000, up 6.6% from the final imports total of 1,861,000 in March. For the first four months of 2019 (including April SIMA permits and March final imports), total and finished steel imports were 11,079,000 NT and 8,039,000 NT, down 11.1% and 17.2%, respectively, from the same period in 2018. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 21% and is 21% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in April permits vs. March final imports included standard rails (up 223%), sheets and strip electrolytic galvanized (up 153%), wire rods (up 80%), black plate (up 70%), cut lengths plates (up 49%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 18%), hot rolled bars (up 16%), and hot rolled sheets (up 12%) . Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2018 include line pipe (up 21%) and wire rod (up 13%).
In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (234,000 NT, up 35% from March final), Japan (160,000 NT, up 61%), Germany (141,000 NT, up 50%), Brazil (68,000 NT, up 403%) and Taiwan (63,000 NT, down 43%). Through the first four months of 2019, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (956,000 NT, down 33% from the same period last year), Japan (489,000 NT, down 1%) and Germany (450,000 NT, up 10%).
* 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.