Chesterton Tribune



Steel import applications rise

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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.

The estimated finished steel import market share in March was 17 percent and in the year-to-date is 17 percent.

Finished steel 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 percent).

Products with 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.



Posted 4/9/2020




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