ALBANY (Scrap Monster): Based on the most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. steel import permit applications for the month of December this year totaled 2,648,000 net tons (NT) of steel. The import permits tons recorded 9.6% decline when compared with 2,930,000 permit tons recorded in November this year. Also, the figure is modestly down by 5.6% when compared with the November preliminary imports total of 2,804,000 net tons.
The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,069,000 net tons during December, slightly down by 3.0% when matched with the preliminary imports total of 2,132,000 net tons in November 2016.
The total and finished steel imports for the full year 2016 totaled 32,969,000 and 26,248,000 net tons (NT), down by 15.0% and 16.7% respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. It must be noted that the above figures are inclusive of November preliminary data and December SIMA permits. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 26% in December and at 26% during the full year 2016.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in import permits during December this year when compared to November preliminary import are steel piling (up 410%), standard rails (up 164%), oil country goods (up 36%), tin plate (up 27%), line pipe (up 23%), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 14%) and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 10%). The imports of tin plates registered highest increase year-on-year during Jan-Dec ’16, rising by 15%.
In December, the largest number of import permit applications were for South Korea (238,000 NT, down 12% from November preliminary), Turkey (175,000 NT, down 4%), Japan (133,000 NT, up 34%), Taiwan (125,000 NT, up 46%) and Germany (85,000 NT, down 2%).
For the full year 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (3,612,000 NT, down 22% from the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,246,000 NT, down 15%) and Japan (1,687,000 NT, down 20%). South Korea (3,780,000 NT, down 22% from the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,435,000 NT, down 14%) and Japan (1,817,000 NT, down 20%).
Meantime, the weekly statistics released by the steel body indicates that raw steel production by the country increased marginally by 2.3% during the week ending December 3rd, 2016.
The total domestic raw steel output during the week ending December 31st was 1,592,000 net tons. The AISI data indicates that the US raw steel production has dropped slightly by 2.7% during the week. This is in comparison with the previous week (ie., the week ended December 24th) production figures of 1,636,000 net tons. However, the weekly production represents sharp rise of 7.2% in comparison with production of 1,485,000 net tons during same week the previous year.
The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 67.1% during the week ended December 31st, 2016. The capacity utilization rate has declined marginally when compared with 69.0% during the previous week (ie., the week ending December 24th). However, capacity utilization was significantly higher when compared with the rate of 62.1% during same week the previous year.
The crude steel production by various districts during the week was as follows:- North East (205,000 NT), Great Lakes (647,000 NT), Midwest (163,000 NT), Southern (518,000 NT) and Western (59,000 NT).
The year-to-date crude steel output through December 31st, 2016 totaled 87,972,000 net tons, marginally down by nearly 0.5% when matched with the output of 88,419,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period was up slightly from 70.1% a year before to 70.8% during the period ended December 31st this year.
AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.