Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reports that steel import permit applications for the month of April totaled 3,967,000 net tons (NT)*. This was an 11.2% increase from the 3,566,000 permit tons recorded in March and a 19.0% increase from the March final imports total of 3,335,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in April was 2,923,000, up 17.6% from the final imports total of 2,485,000 in March. For the first four months of 2018 (including April SIMA permits and March final data), total and finished steel imports were 12,664,000 NT and 9,760,000 NT, up 2.9% and 3.0%, respectively, from the same period in 2017. The estimated finished steel import market share in April was 29% and is 26% year-to-date (YTD).
Finished steel imports with large increases in April permits vs. the March final included line pipe (up 75%), heavy structural shapes (up 68%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 65%), reinforcing bars (up 59%), tin plate (up 59%), hot rolled bars (up 40%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 31%), and cut lengths plates (up 13%). Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2017 include plates in coils (up 42%), hot rolled sheets (up 42%), line pipe (up 28%), mechanical tubing (up 25%), oil country goods (up 23%) and hot rolled bars (up 13%).
In April, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (434,000 NT, up 37% from March final), Turkey (201,000 NT, up 50%), Vietnam (131,000 NT, up 61%), Taiwan (127,000 NT, up 61%) and Germany (126,000 NT, up 71%). Through the first four months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,381,000 NT, up 14% from the same period last year), Turkey (531,000 NT, down 46%) and Japan (491,000 NT, down
Although Appalachian and Interior coal basins are less productive than those in the Powder River Basin, Appalachian and Interior coals have other advantages. The coal produced in Appalachian and Interior basins has higher energy content, and the mines are located closer to many of the power plants and industrial facilities that consume coal.
After several years of declines, coal production and employment increased in 2017. According to data from MSHA, coal production in 2017 increased by an estimated 6%, and total labor hours rose by 7% from 2016 levels. These increases were driven in part by the stabilizing financial condition of producers that had been in bankruptcy proceedings during 2016 and by increasing export demand.
U.S. coal exports were 97 million tons in 2017, up from 60 million tons in 2016 and the highest level since 2014. Export markets were a destination for an estimated 13% of total U.S. coal production and about 30% of Appalachian and Illinois basin production in 2017.Go back to previous page