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AISI Releases March SIMA Imports Data


Finished Import Market Share Estimated at 20 Percent in March

Washington, D.C. – Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of March totaled 2,722,000 net tons (NT)*.  This was a 32.6% increase from the 2,052,000 permit tons recorded in February and a 43.2% increase from the February final imports total of 1,900,000.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in March was 1,822,000, up 26.9% from the final imports total of 1,436,000 in February.  For the first three months of 2021 (including March SIMA permits and February final imports), total and finished steel imports were 7,043,000 NT and 4,497,000 NT, up 9.8% and down 0.3%, respectively, from the same period in 2020.  The estimated finished steel import market share in March was 20% and is 18% year-to-date (YTD).

Finished steel imports with large increases in March permits vs. the February final imports include sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 178%), black plate (up 113%), light shapes bars (up 75%), oil country goods (up 56%), hot rolled bars (up 56%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 52%), cut lengths plates (up 40%), cold rolled strip (up 38%), standard pipe (up 38%), mechanical tubing (up 38%), line pipe (up 36%), reinforcing bars (up 32%), wire drawn (up 26%), wire rods (up 26%), structural pipe and tubing (up 24%) and plates in coils (up 10%).  Products with significant year-to date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2020 include steel piling (up 157%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 23%), cut lengths plates (up 22%), hot rolled sheets (up 21%) and tin plate (up 16%).

In March, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (295,000 NT, up 28% from February final), Taiwan (97,000 NT, up 190%), Germany (61,000 NT, down 6%), Vietnam (46,000 NT, up 524%) and Turkey (44,000 NT, down 43%).  Through the first three months of 2021, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (657,000 NT, up 20% from the same period last year), Japan (227,000 NT, up 12%) and Germany (149,000 NT, down 12%).

*Note that import permits data are counts of tonnages requested in applications for licenses to import steel mill products and are not actual import volumes. For a number of reasons, permit tonnages may understate or overstate actual import volumes for the month, preliminary estimates of which will be available later this month.


Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

AISI serves as the voice of the 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’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric arc furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).


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