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.
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.
finished steel import market share in February was 16 percent and is 16 in
imports with large month-over-month permit increases in February permits
included heavy structural shapes (up 45 percent) and tin plate (up 20
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.