Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I highly encourage you to read the Global Steel Import Monitor put out quarterly by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It was just published for September 2019. In it are all kinds of statistics concerning U.S. steel trade.

In 2018, despite antidumping duties on 35 countries, countervailing duties tacked onto 10 of those countries and two countries having suspension agreements (Russia and Ukraine), the U.S. was the largest importer of steel in the world.

In 2019 through June, the U.S. imported 11 percent fewer tons than the comparable period in 2018 (14.4 million metric tons vs. 16.3 million metric tons in 2018).

Through June 2019, Brazil accounted for the largest share of the U.S. market with 19 percent of steel imports. Brazil was followed by Canada (15 percent), Mexico (10 percent), South Korea (9 percent), Russia (5 percent), Japan (5 percent) and Germany (4 percent).

Compared to 2018 there were significant declines in tonnage from a number of countries (YTD through June 2019) with Russian down 42 percent, Canada down 33 percent, South Korea down 18 percent, Vietnam -17 percent, Japan -16 percent, Mexico -15 percent, Germany -8 percent and Taiwan -7 percent. Brazil was actually up 48 percent and Italy increased by 40 percent.

One reason for the increase from Brazil was semi-finished steels; Brazil was responsible for 66 percent of the slabs sent here. (Brazil has a quota with no Section 232 duties). Mexico and Russia were other notable sources of semi’s into the U.S. at 15 percent each.

Click on this link to review more of the Global Steel Import Monitor data.

John Packard Summit 18I have a couple of speaking engagements coming up during the month of October. I will be speaking to the IPANA steel group on Oct. 2 in Naples, Fla. Later in the month, I will speak to the North American Steel Alliance (NASA) fall meeting in Chicago (Oct. 22).

A note to let everyone know I will once again be the Master of Ceremonies at the Port of Tampa Steel Conference, which will be held in Tampa on Feb. 6-7, 2020. They have the following speakers already confirmed: John Anton of IHS Markit, Phil Bell of the Steel Manufacturers Association, Richard Chriss of the American Institute for International Steel, Lewis Leibowitz of the Law Offices of Lewis E. Leibowitz and Jerry Parrish of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. I have attended the conference for many years and highly recommend it. You can find more information about the conference at

If your company or group has an interest in having me speak, please contact me at

Our next Steel 101 workshop will be held in Ontario, Calif., on Jan. 7-8, 2020. We will tour the California Steel Industries plant in Fontana as part of our workshop. You can find details and registration information on our website:

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As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, President & CEO

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.