Steel Products Prices North America

Flat Rolled Imports by District of Entry and Source Nation, 12 Months of 2019

Written by Peter Wright

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This analysis breaks down the imported tonnage of six flat rolled products into their district of entry and source nation. We believe that misinformation (or lack of) about local import volume is often used to influence purchase decisions. Our intent with this analysis is to describe in detail what is going on in a company’s immediate neighborhood and thus provide a negotiating advantage for our subscribers.

Premium members will find reports on our website that break down the import tonnage in 2019 through December into the port of entry and country of origin in metric tons. Products analyzed in this way are HRC, CRC, HDG sheet, OMC sheet, CTL plate and coiled plate. This data set is large; therefore, we will make no attempt to provide a commentary. Each reader’s interest will be different and he or she simply needs to select one of the six products, then find the nearest port or ports of entry to see how much came into their locality each month and from where. Monthly data is provided back to January 2017. It is clear from these detailed reports and from our companion reports by region that the change in tonnage entering a particular district in many (or most) cases is completely different from the change in volume at the national level.

Here are some examples to illustrate why this information can be actionable: Cold rolled imports were down by 20 percent year over year, but Buffalo was up by 31 percent and Houston and New Orleans were down by 52 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Coiled plate was down by 6 percent overall, but Laredo was down by 74 percent while New Orleans was up by 557 percent.

The table included here is a small part of the detailed analysis of the hot rolled sheet tonnage by district of entry and source nation. The bar graph shows the tonnage of hot rolled sheet that entered the top 10 districts through December year to date for 2018 and 2019 ranked by 2019 tonnage. These 10 districts accounted for 97.0 percent of the total hot rolled sheet tonnage in 2019 through December.

The data in these detailed reports is compiled from tariff and trade data published by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Our national level import reports are sourced from U.S. Department of Commerce, Enforcement and Compliance, aka the Steel Import Monitoring System. In the development of these reports by district and source country, we have discovered that the SIMA data for HRC and CRC contains some high-alloy steels such as stainless and tool steels that have been misclassified at the ports. These alloy steels are not included in our detailed reports, which results in a small discrepancy between the two data sets, for CRC in particular and for HRC to a lesser degree.

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