US Steel Imports in February Shrink by 20% YoY
Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported that steel import permit applications for the month of February totaled 1,945,000 net tons. This was a 12.3% decrease from the 2,218,000 permit tons recorded in January and a 19.7% decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,422,000 net tons. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,387,000 net tons up 11.9% from the preliminary imports total of 1,239,000 net tons in January. For the first two months of 2021, including February SIMA permits and January preliminary imports, total and finished steel imports were 4,367,000 net tons and 2,626,000 net tons, down 6.3% and 12.4%, respectively, from the same period in 2020. The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 18% and is 16% year-to-date.
Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits vs. the January preliminary imports include tin plate up 213%, sheets and strip electrolytic galvanized up 151%, cold rolled sheets up 71%, tin free steel up 55%, hot rolled sheets up 43%, cut lengths plates up 34%, line pipe up 30%, mechanical tubing up 19% and wire rods up 15%. Products with significant year-to date increases vs. the same period in 2020 include tin plate up 22%, steel piling up 81% and sheets and strip electrolytic galvanized up 69%.
In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea 216,000 net tons up 64% from January preliminary, Japan 91,000 net tons up 97%, Germany 82,000 net tons up 251%, Turkey 77,000 net tons down 6% and The Netherlands 38,000 net tons up 841%. Through the first two months of 2021, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea 347,000 net tons up 2% from the same period last year, Japan 137,000 net tons down 6% and Turkey 158,000 net tons up 28%.