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Steel News April 06, 2017 11:30:31 AM

US Steel Import Permits surged 24% in March: AISI

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,479,000 net tons during March 2017.
US Steel Import Permits surged 24% in March: AISI

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 March this year totaled 3,413,000 net tons (NT) of steel. The import permits tons recorded 23.9% jump when compared with 2,755,000 permit tons recorded in February. Also, the import permits are up considerably by 25.4% when compared with the February final imports total of 2,722,000 net tons.

The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,479,000 net tons during March 2017, significantly higher by 19.2% when matched with the final imports total of 2,080,000 net tons in February this year.

Key finished steel products with a significant increase in import permits during March this year when compared to February final import are heavy structural shapes (up 66%), reinforcing bar (up 55%), hot rolled sheets (up 43%), oil country goods (up 40%), wire rods (up 29%), hot rolled bars (up 28%) and wire drawn (up 22%).

In March, the largest number of import permit applications were for Turkey (301,000 NT, up 53% from February final), South Korea (296,000 NT, up 14%), Japan (149,000 NT, up 50%), Germany (85,000 NT, up 63%) and Taiwan (85,000 NT, down 18%).

The steel products which recorded significant year-to-date (YTD) increases when compared with the similar three-month period in 2016 were oil country goods (up 151%), cold rolled sheets (up 43%), sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 39%), standard pipe (up 27%), mechanical tubing (up 26%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 23%), line pipe (up 17%), reinforcing bars (up 13%) and tin plate (up 13%).

For first three months of 2017, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (868,000 NT, down 3% from the same period in 2016), Turkey (805,000 NT, up 10%) and Japan (394,000 NT, down 13%).

Meantime, the weekly statistics released by the steel body indicates that raw steel production by the country declined marginally by 1.9% during the week ending on April 1st, 2017.

The total domestic raw steel output during the week ending April 1st was 1,692,000 net tons. The AISI data indicates that the US raw steel production has dropped slightly by 1.9% during the week. This is in comparison with the previous week (ie., the week ended March 25th)  production figures of 1,725,000 net tons. However, the weekly production represents marginal rise of 0.4% in comparison with production of 1,685,000 net tons during same week the previous year.

The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 71.4% during the week ended April 1st, 2017. The capacity utilization rate has declined marginally when compared with 72.8% during the previous week (ie., the week ending March 25th). Also, capacity utilization rate was down when compared with the rate of 72.1% during same week the previous year.

The crude steel production by various districts during the week was as follows:- North East (197,000 NT), Great Lakes (657,000 NT), Midwest (169,000 NT), Southern (579,000 NT) and Western (90,000 NT).

The year-to-date crude steel output through April 1st, 2017 totaled 22,551,000 net tons, up by nearly 4.1% when matched with the output of 21,657,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period was up considerably from 71.3% a year before to 73.2% during the period ended April 1st this year.

About AISI

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.