By Paul Ploumis
ALBANY (Scrap Monster): Based on the most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. steel import permit applications for the month of October this year totaled 2,774,000 net tons (NT) of steel. The import permits tons recorded 4.7% decline when compared with 2,912,000 permit tons recorded in September this year. The figure is slightly higher by 1.1% when compared with the September preliminary imports total of 2,745,000 net tons.
The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,203,000 net tons during October, modestly higher by 4.5% when matched with the preliminary imports total of 2,108,000 net tons in September.
The total and finished steel imports for the initial ten-month period of the current year totaled 27,548,000 and 21,978,000 net tons (NT), down by 18.8% and 19.9% respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. It must be noted that the above figures are inclusive of September preliminary data and October SIMA permits. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 26% in October and at 25% during the initial ten-month period of the year.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in import permits during October this year when compared to September preliminary import are tin free steel (up 85%), oil country goods (up 67%), heavy structural shapes (up 32%), line pipe (up 31%), hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 19%), hot rolled bars (up 18%) and cold rolled sheets (up 12%). The imports of tin plates registered highest increase year-on-year during Jan-Oct ’16, rising by 13%.
In October, the largest number of import permit applications were for South Korea (251,000 NT, down 11% from September preliminary), Turkey (234,000 NT, up 48%), Japan (144,000 NT, down 3%), Vietnam (121,000 NT, up 23%) and The Netherlands (100,000 NT, up 36%).
For first ten months of 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (3,243,000 NT, down 25% from the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,087,000 NT, down 16%) and Japan (1,572,000 NT, down 19%).
Meantime, the weekly statistics released by the steel body indicates that raw steel production by the country declined marginally by 1.4% during the week ending October 29th, 2016.
The total domestic raw steel output during the week ending October 29th was 1,575,000 net tons. The AISI data indicates that the US raw steel production has dropped slightly by 1.4% during the week. This is in comparison with the previous week (ie., the week ended October 22nd) production figures of 1,597,000 net tons. Also, the weekly production represents modest decline of 3.3% in comparison with production of 1,629,000 net tons during same week the previous year.
The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 66.4% during the week ended October 29th, 2016. The capacity utilization rate has dropped marginally when compared with 67.3% during the previous week (ie., the week ending October 22nd). Also, capacity utilization was lower when compared with the rate of 68.10% during same week the previous year.
The crude steel production by various districts during the week was as follows:- North East (191,000 NT), Great Lakes (615,000 NT), Midwest (152,000 NT), Southern (546,000 NT) and Western (71,000 NT).
The year-to-date crude steel output through October 29, 2016 totaled 73,525,000 net tons, marginally down by nearly 1.9% when matched with the output of 74,951,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period was down slightly from 71.7% a year before to 71.4% during the period ended Oct 29th this year.
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 the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.