Chesterton Tribune



Steel import permit apps down significantly in February

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The American Iron and Steel Institute is reporting that steel import permit applications for February totaled 1,823,000 net tons (NT), a 47.5-percent decrease from the permit tons recorded in January and a 41.8-percent decrease from the January preliminary imports total.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,358,000, down 16.8 from the preliminary imports total in January. For the first two months of 2020 (including February SIMA permits and January preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 4,958,000 NT and 2,991,000 NT, down 16.1 percent and 28.7 percent respectively from the year-ago period.

The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 16 percent and is 16 in the year-to-date.

Finished steel imports with large month-over-month permit increases in February permits included heavy structural shapes (up 45 percent) and tin plate (up 20 percent).

Products with significant year-over-year increases include tin free steel (up 69 percent) and mechanical tubing (up 11 percent).

In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (155,000 NT, down 15 percent from January preliminary); Turkey (89,000 NT, up 75 percent); Japan (75,000 NT, down 2 percent); Germany (51,000 NT, up 5 percent); and Taiwan (43,000 NT, up 4 percent).

Through the first two months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (337,000 NT, down 39 percent from the same period last year); Japan (151,000 NT, down 34 percent); and Turkey (139,000 NT, up 39 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 3/6/2020




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