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 July totaled 2,786,000 net tons (NT)*. This was an 8.2% decrease from the 3,036,000 permit tons recorded in June and a 3.8% decrease from the June preliminary imports total of 2,897,000. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in July was 1,879,000, down 6.9% from the preliminary imports total of 2,018,000 in June. For the first seven months of 2021 (including July SIMA permits and June preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 17,474,000 NT and 11,874,000 NT, up 15.7% and 18.5%, respectively, from the same period in 2020. The estimated finished steel import market share in July was 20% and is 19% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in July permits vs. the June preliminary imports include sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 39%), mechanical tubing (up 29%), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 19%) and reinforcing bars (up 10%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2020 include hot rolled sheets (up 66%), hot rolled strip (up 56%), light shapes bars (up 55%), plates in coils (up 44%), cut lengths plates (up 42%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 40%), wire rods (up 39%), wire drawn (up 22%), hot rolled bars (up 17%), heavy structural shapes (up 14%) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 11%).
In July, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (250,000 NT, down 9% from June preliminary), Vietnam (99,000 NT, up 162%), Turkey (78,000 NT, down 20%), Japan (71,000 NT, down 40%) and Taiwan, China (65,000 NT, down 23%). Through the first seven months of 2021, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,581,000 NT, up 23% from the same period last year), Japan (591,000 NT, up 22%) and Turkey (507,000 NT, up 35%).
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