Import Permits Increase At End of 2019, According to Commerce Department’s SIMA Data
According to U.S. Commerce Department data, the U.S. steel import applications for the month of December 2019 totaled 2,308,000 net tons (NT). This is 12.3% more tons than the 2,055,000 recorded in November, as well as 47.8% more than November’s final imports level of 1,561,000 NT.
Import data for finished steel in December was 1,388,000 NT, which is up 4.2% from the 1,331,000 NT reported in November. For full year 2019, total and finished steel imports concluded at 28,660,000 NT and 21,082,000. This is a decrease of 15.0% and 17.9%, respectively, from the imports data in full year 2018. Estimated market share for finished steel in December remained around 15%, and is 19% for the year, as estimated in past reports.
The finished steel products with a significant increase in imports between November and December were: hot rolled sheets (up 38%); tin free steel (up 37%); plate in coils (up 29%); structual pipe and tubing (up 24%); and line pipe (up 14%).
The finished steel imports in December 2019 originated primarily in South Korea (199K NT, up 6% from November), Japan (81K NT, down 4%), Germany (81K NT, up 48%), Brazil (35K NT, up 221%) and The Netherlands (30K NT, down 58%). Similarly, for full year 2019, the largest volume of finished steel imports originated in South Korea (2,606K NT, 6% from 2018), Japan (1,256K NT, down 9%), and Germany (1,046K NT, down 22%).
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