The American Iron
and Steel Institute is reporting that steel import applications for March
totaled 2,323,00 net tons (NT), a 24-percent increase from February and a
53.9-percent increase from the February final imports total.
Import tonnage for
finished steel in March was 1,544,000 NT, up 14.6 percent from the February
final imports total.
For the first three
months of 2020, including March SIMA permits and February final imports,
total and finished steel imports were 6,983,000 NT and 4,540,000 NT, down
14.7 percent and 25 percent respectively from the year-ago period.
finished steel import market share in March was 17 percent and in the
year-to-date is 17 percent.
imports with significant month-over-month increases in March included oil
country goods (up 101 percent); line pipe (up 66 percent); structural pipe
and tubing (up 57 percent); tin free steel (47 percent); cold-rolled sheets
(up 34 percent); hot-rolled bars (up 34 percent); cut-lengths plate (up 28
percent); wire rods (up 21 percent); sheets and strip hot-dipped galvanized
(up 14 percent); standard pipe (up 14 percent); and wire drawn (up 14
significant year-over-year increases included tin free steel (up 35
percent); and mechanical tubing (up 17 percent).
In March the
largest steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for
South Korea (231,000 NT, up 46 percent from February final); Taiwan (65,000
NT, up 99 percent); Germany (61,000 NT, up 17 percent); Turkey (60,000 NT,
down 18 percent); and Japan (57,000 NT, down 18 percent).
Through the first
three months of the year, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea
(572,000 NT, down 21 percent from the year-ago); Japan (203,000 NT, down 38
percent); and Turkey (183,000 NT, up 43 percent).
Note that import
permits data are counts of tonnages requested in applications for licenses
to import steel mill products and are not actual import volumes. For a
number of reasons, permit tonnages may understate or overstate actual import
volumes for the month, preliminary estimates of which will be available
later this month.