On Wednesday of this week the U.S. Department of Commerce updated license data for foreign steel imports for the months of July and August. Based on only 18 days worth of data, August imports are trending toward another 3.0 million net ton month. The current trend line is for total steel imports for August to be approximately 3.2 million tons but we think that number will pull back slightly as the month progresses. The last time the U.S. saw monthly imports less than 3.0 million tons was December 2013 when imports totaled 2.5 million tons.
July license data continues to indicate the month will come in at 3.3 million net tons (+/- 100,000 tons). Preliminary Census data is due to be released on August 24th for the month of July.
We thought we would share with our readers a table that we keep for ourselves which shows where imports were based on licenses requests submitted by the middle of the month. What we are watching more than anything is the trend line and, as you can see from the table below, the trend for total imports is (and has been) in decline going back to April of this year. As you can see not every product is following the overall trend. Semi-finished imports of slabs have actually been rising as has Galvalume (other metallic coated) although the tonnages there are quite small.
With the dumping suits having been filed on hot rolled, cold rolled and coated products (galvanized and Galvalume) we expect these numbers to continue to drop over the next few months. The first major drop should be in coated steels since that was the first trade suit to be filed (June 3rd).
John PackardRead more from John Packard
Latest in Steel Products Prices North America
HRC vs. CRC price spread jumps in second week of new year
The spread between cold-rolled coil (CRC) and hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices jumped during the week of Jan. 8 as cold rolled tags continued to rise while hot rolled tags held steady.
Cliffs increases sheet prices again, seeks $1,150/ton HRC
Cleveland-Cliffs is now targeting base prices of $1,150 per ton for hot-rolled coil (HRC), according to a press release on Wednesday morning, Jan. 3.
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.