[Ferro-Alloys.com] 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 September totaled 1,514,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 7.2% increase from the 1,413,000 permit tons recorded in August and a 17.3% increase from the August final imports total of 1,291,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 1,141,000, down 3.2% from the final imports total of 1,179,000 in August. For the first nine months of 2020 (including September SIMA permits and August final imports), total and finished steel imports were 17,905,000 NT and 12,342,000 NT, down 20.7% and 26.8%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. The estimated finished steel import market share in September was 16% and is 18% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in September permits vs. the August final imports include heavy structural shapes (up 138%), steel piling (up 76%), hot rolled sheets (up 22%), wire rods (up 14%) and hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip (up 11%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2019 include tin free steel (up 24%) and light shapes bars (up 18%).
In September, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (97,000 NT, down 14% from August final), Germany (55,000 NT, up 10%), Japan (52,000 NT, up 18%), Taiwan (47,000 NT, up 41%) and Brazil (44,000 NT, up 523%). Through the first nine months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,491,000 NT, down 27% from the same period last year), Japan (581,000 NT, down 43%) and Germany (528,000 NT, down 37%).