Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

The import permits to the US for finished steel and total steel in December increased compared with the previous month, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).


Citing figures from the latest Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data released by the US Department of Commerce, AISI indicated that total steel import permits in December totaled 2.07mn nt (1.88mn mt), up 48.1pc from 1.4mn nt worth of permits in the previous month and up 51.2pc from November’s preliminary imports.


Finished steel permits increased by 12.2pc in December to 1.33mn nt compared with preliminary steel imports of 1.18mn nt in November.


In 2020, AISI indicated that total steel imports dropped by 19.1pc to 22.6mn nt compared with 2019, while finished steel imports declined by 23.4pc to 16.1mn nt during the same timeframe.


The most sought after finished steel imports in December, compared with the previous month include line pipe, up 219pc; electrical sheets and strip, up 193pc; oil country goods, up 158pc; tin-free steel, up 103pc; plates in coils, up 40pc; hot rolled sheets, up 33pc; sheets and strip all other metallic coatings, up 19pc; and hot-rolled bars, up 17pc.  


Compared with 2019, tin-free steel, up 25pc and light shapes bars, up 21pc in 2020, were the most sought after finished steel products.


In December, South Korea continued to be the most sought-after destination for steel imports, up 88pc to 240,000nt compared with November, followed by Germany up 5pc at 70,000nt, Japan up 28pc at 59,000nt; The Netherlands up 2pc at 52,000nt, and Brazil up 168pc at 49,000nt.  


South Korea also remains the largest offshore steel provider for the full 12 months of 2020, with shipments from this destination totaling 2.03mn nt, down 21pc; followed by Japan at 770,000nt, down 38pc; and Germany down 30pc to 729,000nt, all compared with the same prior-year period.


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