US Steel Import Permits Register Drastic Decline in September

Posted on 10 October 2017

Source: Scrap Monster

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has published the latest Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, which suggests drastic decline of nearly 16% in steel import permit applications in the US during the month of September this year. This is upon comparison with the permit tons during the prior month. Also, the import permits surged higher by nearly 10% over the August preliminary imports. The steel import applications for the month totaled 3,572,000 net tons (NT) as compared with 3,026,000 NT in September.

The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,377,000 net tons in September this year, marginally down by 1.9% when matched with the preliminary imports total of 2,422,000 net tons in July this year.

The finished steel products which recorded highest surge in import permits during September when compared to August preliminary import was light shapes bars, whose permits recorded sharp 185% jump. The permit applications of standard rails were up by 140%. Hot rolled bars reported 34% jump in volume of import permits. The other products to report month-on-month increase in permits were oil country goods (+21%), tin plate (+16%) and line pipe (+12%). The largest number of import permit applications was for South Korea. The permit applications from the country declined marginally by 2% from August preliminary to total 343,000 NT. In second and third positions were Japan and Germany with imports permits of 158,000 NT and 139,000 NT respectively.

The steel products which recorded largest increase in import permits till date this year when compared with the corresponding nine-month period in 2016 was oil country goods. The import permits of oil country goods surged higher by 254% during this period, followed by line pipes and standard pipes with year-on-year increases of 55% and 45% respectively. Through the initial nine months of 2017, South Korea with 2.963 Million NT was the largest offshore supplier, followed by Turkey (1.919 Million NT) and Japan (1.224 Million NT) respectively.

Meantime, AISI data indicates that the weekly raw steel production by the country declined marginally by 0.8% during the week ending on September 30, 2017. The total domestic raw steel output during the week was 1,706,000 net tons, as compared with the previous week production figures of 1,720,000 net tons. However, the weekly production has surged higher considerably by 7.2% in comparison with production of 1,591,000 net tons during same week the previous year.

The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 73.2% during the week, down slightly when compared with the utilization rate of 73.8% during the previous week. However, the rate stood significantly higher when matched with 68.0% during same week the previous year.

The year-to-date crude steel output through September 30, 2017 totaled 67,804,000 net tons, up by nearly 3.7% when matched with the output of 65,390,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period stood higher at 74.6% as compared with the rate of 72.1% during the corresponding period last year. 

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