Peter Wright wrote an article in our last issue about the accuracy of the steel import license data. What Peter was referring to was the license data reported at the conclusion of the month and before the preliminary and final census data are reported. Steel Market Update begins to analyze the data beginning in the middle of the month to see if we can assist those watching the numbers by reporting any changes we might see in the trend. The current import license trend for December indicates another very large month for foreign steel arriving into U.S. ports.
Last year we saw December imports totaling 2.6 million net tons. At this moment we are seeing imports trending toward 3.0-3.5 million net tons. This is based on the daily import rate (seen below) which is lower at this point in the month than what we saw in any of the previous four months. August imports totaled 3.7 million net tons and we do not expect December to reach that level due to the lower levels we are seeing in semi-finished which tend to account for as much as 20-25 percent of the total imports during any given month.
We are also seeing lower license numbers on Galvalume, which is due to the seasonality of the product. All of the other products are within the ranges seen at this point in the month during August, September, October and November.
We will review the numbers again when they are released by the US Department of Commerce (SIMA) next Tuesday evening.
Brett LintonRead more from Brett Linton
Latest in Steel Products Prices North America
Cliffs moves sheet prices higher, seeks $1,100/ton HRC
Cleveland-Cliffs is now targeting base prices of $1,100 per ton ($55 per cwt) for hot-rolled coil (HRC).
SMU price ranges: Sheet surge continues on limited spot availability
Sheet prices shot higher again this week on the heels of another round of mill price increases as well as on reports of production and supply chain issues at certain domestic producers.
Galvanized Sheet’s Premium Over Hot Rolled Hovering Around $200/Ton
The spread between hot-rolled coil (HRC) and galvanized sheet base prices has been hovering near $200 per net ton since late July, according to SMU’s latest analysis.
Plate Report: Quiet Turning to Sluggish?
The US plate market has been rather quiet over the past couple of weeks since Nucor Corp. caught many off guard with a $140-per-ton price cut.
SSAB’s Jeff Moskaluk on Wind’s Flurry of Opportunity for Steel
SMU discussed wind energy, a promising end-use market for steel, with SSAB Americas’ SVP and CCO Jeff Moskaluk.