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 November this year totaled 2,862,000 net tons (NT) of steel. The import permits tons recorded 1.2% decline when compared with 2,895,000 permit tons recorded in October this year. The figure is modestly higher by 5.5% when compared with the October final imports total of 2,713,000 net tons.
The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,274,000 net tons during November, slightly higher by 0.8% when matched with the final imports total of 2,256,000 net tons in October 2016.
The total and finished steel imports for the initial eleven-month period of the current year totaled 30,379,000 and 24,322,000 net tons (NT), down by 16.5% and 17.3% respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. It must be noted that the above figures are inclusive of October final data and November SIMA permits. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 27% in November and at 26% during the initial eleven-month period of the year.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in import permits during November this year when compared to October final import are sheets and strip electrolytic galvanized (up 50%), hot rolled bars (up 50%), cold rolled sheets (up 26%), structural pipe and tubing (up 21%), line pipe (up 18%), reinforcing bars (up 18%), mechanical tubing (up 14%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 13%) and plates in coils (up 12%). The imports of tin plates registered highest increase year-on-year during Jan-Nov ’16, rising by 13%.
In November, the largest number of import permit applications were for South Korea (342,000 NT, up 24% from October final), Turkey (169,000 NT, down 24%), Vietnam (142,000 NT, up 28%), Taiwan (110,000 NT, up 15%) and Japan (104,000 NT, down 29%).
For first eleven months of 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (3,612,000 NT, down 22% from the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,246,000 NT, down 15%) and Japan (1,687,000 NT, down 20%).
Meantime, the weekly statistics released by the steel body indicates that raw steel production by the country increased marginally by 2.3% during the week ending December 3rd, 2016.
The total domestic raw steel output during the week ending December 3rd was 1,635,000 net tons. The AISI data indicates that the US raw steel production has increased slightly by 2.3% during the week. This is in comparison with the previous week (ie., the week ended November 26th) production figures of 1,598,000 net tons. However, the weekly production represents sharp decline of 9.5% in comparison with production of 1,493,000 net tons during same week the previous year.
The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 68.9% during the week ended December 3rd, 2016. The capacity utilization rate has increased marginally when compared with 67.4% during the previous week (ie., the week ending November 26th). Also, capacity utilization was significantly higher when compared with the rate of 62.5% during same week the previous year.
The crude steel production by various districts during the week was as follows:- North East (199,000 NT), Great Lakes (652,000 NT), Midwest (154,000 NT), Southern (563,000 NT) and Western (67,000 NT).
The year-to-date crude steel output through December 3rd, 2016 totaled 81,376,000 net tons, marginally down by nearly 1.3% when matched with the output of 82,481,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period was up slightly from 70.8% a year before to 70.9% during the period ended December 3rd 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.