Finished Steel Imports Up 13 Percent in March

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2012 Import Market Share at 23 Percent


For immediate release
April 4, 2012

Washington, D.C. - Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of March totaled 3,144,000 net tons (NT).  This was a 22% increase from the 2,580,000 permit tons recorded in February and a 17% increase from the February preliminary imports total of 2,689,000 NT.    Import permit tonnage for finished steel in March was 2,275,000 NT, up 11% from the preliminary imports total of 2,051,000 NT in February.    On a quarterly basis, finished steel imports in the first quarter of 2012 were 27% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011.  March 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 34,591,000 NT and 26,120,000 NT, up 21% and 20%, respectively, vs. the 28,515,000 NT and 21,835,000 NT imported in 2011.  The estimated finished steel import market share in March was 23%.

In March, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (282,000 NT, down 6% from February), Turkey (263,000 NT, up 39%), Japan (190,000 NT, up 15%), China (114,000 NT, up 24%) and Germany (106,000 NT, up 32%).  Looking at the entire first quarter as a whole compared to the same period last year, there are particularly notable increases for the 3 largest offshore suppliers.  Based on 1st quarter 2012, Korea would annualize at 2.8 million tons, up 31%, vs. 2011; Turkey, 2.4 million tons annualized, up 222% and Japan, 2.0 million tons annualized, up 35%.

Finished steel import permits for products that registered large increases in March vs. the February preliminary include reinforcing bar (up 76%), line pipe (up 63%), standard pipe (up 29%) and cut length plate (up 9%).  Major products with year-to-date increases vs. the same period in 2011 include reinforcing bar (up 114%), line pipe (up 67%), plates in coils (up 54%) and cut length plate (up 52%).
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
member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate and the
development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at


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