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US Steel import permits declined 10.8% in May: AISI

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WASHINGTON (Scrap Register): The United States steel import permit applications for the month of May totaled 2,582,000 net tons, declined 10.8% from the 2,895,000 permit tons recorded in April and down 21.9% from the April preliminary imports total of 3,304,000, according to American Iron and Steel Institute's (AISI) latest report based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in May was 1,809,000, down 10.1% from the preliminary imports total of 2,011,000 in April. For the first five months of 2019 (including May SIMA permits and April preliminary imports), total and finished steel imports were 14,071,000 NT and 9,875,000 NT, down 8.6% and 18.8%, respectively, from the same period in 2018.

The estimated finished steel import market share in May was 18% and is 21% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in May permits vs. April preliminary imports included sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 113%), heavy structural shapes (up 90%), reinforcing bars (up 69%), hot rolled bars (up 20%), standard pipe (up 12%), and tin plate (up 12%). A product with a significant year-to-date (YTD) increase vs. the same period in 2018 was line pipe (up 11%).

In May, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (296,000 NT, up 8% from April preliminary), Japan (123,000 NT, down 22%), Germany (77,000 NT, down 46%), Taiwan (76,000 NT, up 8%) and Vietnam (60,000 NT, down 24%). Through the first five months of 2019, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,291,000 NT, down 16% from the same period last year), Japan (610,000 NT, no change) and Germany (530,000 NT, down 4%).

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