U.S. Steel Shipments Down Slightly in January; Imports Claim 24 Percent Market Share in January

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that for the month of January 2018, U.S. steel mills shipped 7,636,321 net tons, a 4.2 percent increase from the 7,328,247 net tons shipped in the previous month, December 2017, and a 0.9 percent decrease from the 7,708,416 net tons shipped in January 2017.
A comparison of January shipments to the previous month of December shows the following changes: hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip, up 11 percent, cold rolled sheets, up 9 percent and hot rolled sheets, up 3 percent.

Additionally, 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 February totaled 2,428,000 net tons (NT)*. This was a 21.2% decrease from the 3,081,000 permit tons recorded in January and a 15.6% decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,875,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,950,000, down 16.2% from the preliminary imports total of 2,327,000 in January. For the first two months of 2018 (including February SIMA permits and January preliminary data), total and finished steel imports were 5,303,000 NT and 4,277,000 NT, down 4.2% and 3.0%, respectively, from the same period in 2017. The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 24% and is 25% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits vs. the January preliminary included heavy structural shapes (up 56%), wire rods (up 35%) and wire drawn (up 21%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2017 include oil country goods (up 58%), hot rolled bars (up 29%), hot rolled sheets (up 28%), line pipe (up 27%), wire drawn (up 15%) and plates in coils (up 13%).

In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (252,000 NT, down 26% from January preliminary), Germany (111,000 NT, up 23%), Japan (110,000 NT, down 22%), China (85,000 NT, up 18%) and Taiwan (68,000 NT, down 42%). Through the first two months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (591,000 NT, up 3%), Japan (251,000 NT, up 2%) and Germany (201,000 NT, up 50%).

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