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US Steel import permit applications up 12.3% in December: AISI

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WASHINGTON (Scrap Register): United States steel import permit applications for the month of December 2019 totaled 2,308,000 net tons (NT), increased 12.3% from the 2,055,000 permit tons recorded in November and a 47.8% increase from the November final imports total of 1,561,000, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) said in its latest report based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in December was 1,388,000, up 4.2% from the final imports total of 1,331,000 in November. For full year 2019 (including December SIMA permits and November final imports), total and finished steel imports were 28,660,000 NT and 21,082,000 NT, down 15.0% and 17.9%, respectively, from 2018. The estimated finished steel import market share in December was 15% and is 19% for 2019.

Finished steel imports with large increases in December permits vs. November final imports included hot rolled sheets (up 38%), tin free steel (up 37%), plates in coils (up 29%), structural pipe and tubing (up 24%) and line pipe (up 14%). Products with significant increases in 2019 vs. 2018 include black plate (up 110%), steel piling (up 37%) and tin free steel (up 23%).

In December, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (199,000 NT, up 6% from November final), Japan (81,000 NT, down 4%), Germany (81,000 NT, up 48%), Brazil (35,000 NT, up 221%) and The Netherlands (30,000 NT, down 58%). For full year 2019, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,606,000 NT, down 6% from 2018), Japan (1,256,000 NT, down 9%) and Germany (1,046,000 NT, down 22%).

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