By Paul Ploumis
ALBANY (Scrap Monster): The most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data published by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) suggests huge decline of 12.3% in U.S. steel import permit applications for the month of July this year, upon comparison with the prior month. The steel import applications for the month totaled 3,458,000 net tons (NT) as compared with 3,944,000 NT in June.
The import permit tonnage of finished steel totaled 2,785,000 net tons in July this year, declining by 5.3% when matched with the preliminary imports total of 2,941,000 net tons in June this year.
The finished steel products which recorded highest surge in import permits during July when compared to June preliminary import was standard rail, whose permits recorded 189% jump. The permit applications of standard pipe too were up by 51%. Cut length plates reported 21% rise in import permits. The largest number of import permit applications was for South Korea. However, the permit applications from the country declined by 14% from June preliminary to total 333,000 NT. South Korea was closely followed by Turkey and Japan with imports permits of 211,000 NT and 149,000 NT respectively.
The steel products which recorded largest increase in import permits till date this year when compared with the corresponding period in 2016 was oil country goods. The import permits of oil country goods surged higher by 255% during this period, followed by standard pipe and cold rolled sheet with year-on-year increases of 50% and 38% respectively. Through the seven months of 2017, South Korea with 2.261 Million NT was the largest offshore supplier, followed by Turkey (1.681 Million NT) and Japan (935,000 NT) respectively.
Meantime, AISI data indicates that the weekly raw steel production by the country declined marginally by 0.2% during the week ending on July 29th, 2017. The total domestic raw steel output during the week was 1,769,000 net tons, as compared with the previous week production figures of 1,773,000 net tons. However, the weekly production has surged higher by 6.1% in comparison with production of 1,667,000 net tons during same week the previous year.
The capability utilization rate of US steel makers was 75.9% during the week, dropping marginally when compared with the utilization rate of 76.1% during the previous week. But the rate stood higher from 71.3% during same week the previous year.
The year-to-date crude steel output through July 29, 2017 totaled 52,108,000 net tons, up by nearly 2.6% when matched with the output of 50,793,000 net tons during the same period last year. The capacity utilization rate during the period stood higher at 74.5% as compared with the rate of 72.4% during the corresponding period last year.