Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of February 2007 totaled 2,625,000 net tons (NT). This was about a 9 percent decrease from the 2,889,000 permit tons recorded in January 2007, a 2 percent decline from the January preliminary imports total of 2,685,000 NT, and 2 percent less than the 2005 monthly average. Import permit tonnage for finished steel totaled 2,136,000 NT in February 2007 vs. preliminary imports of 2,153,000 NT in January 2007 and a monthly average of 2,099,000 NT in 2005.
For February, the largest volume of steel import permit applications for an individual country was Canada at 443,000 NT. Other notable countries include China at 317,000 NT, Mexico at 246,000 NT and Brazil at 177,000 NT. Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel were down around 38 percent in February compared to the preliminary imports totals for January. February 2007 marks the ninth consecutive month that China—a non-market economy country that provides large subsidies to steel and other manufacturing industries—will be the largest or next to largest foreign supplier of steel to the U.S. market. The February tonnage of 317,000 NT, while below the 2006 record tonnage amounts, is 65 percent above the 2005 monthly average of 192,000 NT.
In analyzing the SIMA data for the month of February, AISI President and CEO Andrew G. Sharkey, III, said that, “Following last year’s record import levels and inventory build, we are continuing to monitor imports closely, especially from Asia and countries with a history of unfair trading. At the same time, we are working with members of congress and other industries to advance a pro-manufacturing agenda that recognizes the urgent need to strengthen our nation’s vital laws against foreign dumping and subsidies so that we can ensure market-based outcomes for efficient U.S. producers.”
to Daily News