Steel import permit applications totaled 2,329,000 net tons for the month of February, according to the latest report from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
The report, which is based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, shows that February total was an 8% decrease from the 2,534,000 permit tons recorded in January 2008, and a 12% decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,658,000 net tons.
For finished steel, import permit tonnage reached 1,849,000 net tons in February, a 16% decrease from the preliminary imports of 2,197,000 net tons in January.
Projecting the year-to-date 2008 (based on February SIMA and January preliminary), total steel imports annualize at 29.9 million net tons, 10% below the 2007 12-month total.
For February 2008, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for China (222,000 net tons), Korea (156,000 net tons), Japan (97,000 net tons), Germany (87,000 net tons), and India (83,000 net tons). Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel declined 18% in February compared to January’s preliminary imports.
Product categories that have increased in the first two months of 2008 vs. the same period in 2007 include:
- Line pipe, + 59%
- Heavy structural shapes, + 18%
- Hot rolled sheets, + 7%
“While imports in the first two months of 2008 are below the same period last year, finished steel imports on a monthly basis this year are 10% higher than the monthly average in the last quarter of 2007,” said AISI President and CEO Andrew G. Sharkey III. “Our industry will stay vigilant about imports that violate trade rules, and we will continue to monitor closely imports of certain products from certain countries.”
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 31 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 130 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.