This Morning in Metals: Steel Import Permit Applications Down 10.8% in May

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This morning in metals news, U.S. steel import permit applications dropped last month, the Trump administration’s Section 232 aluminum tariff left its mark on operations at the Port of Oswego and the Trump administration released a new strategy that aims to ensure a reliable supply of critical minerals.

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Steel Import Permit Applications Drop in May

Steel import permit applications fell 10.8% in May compared with April, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

By country, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were: South Korea (296,000 NT, up 8% from April preliminary), Japan (123,000 NT, down 22%), Germany (77,000 NT, down 46%), Taiwan (76,000 NT, up 8%) and Vietnam (60,000 NT, down 24%).

Oswego Impact

Last month, the Trump administration lifted its Section 232 tariffs with respect to imports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico — but the impact of the tariffs was still felt throughout the year since their implementation.

One such community that felt the impact was Oswego, New York, and its port, WRVO Public Media reported. According to the report, aluminum shipments into the port are down 50% this year, resulting in job cuts at the port, according to the director of the Oswego Port Authority.

Critical Minerals Strategy

This week, the Trump administration unveiled a report titled “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals.

“The strategy directs the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to locate domestic supplies of those minerals, ensure access to information necessary for the study and production of minerals, and expedite permitting for minerals projects,” a Department of the Interior release states.

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Last year, the DOI released a list of 35 minerals deemed critical to U.S. economy and security. According to the DOI, the U.S. relies on other counties for more than a dozen minerals, used in cellphones, automobiles, airplanes, ships and computers, the release states.

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