Steel Products Prices North America

Flat Rolled Imports by District of Entry and Source Nation Through February 2020

Written by Peter Wright

The analysis breaks down the imported tonnage of six flat rolled products into the district of entry and the 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 premium subscribers.

Premium members will find reports on our website that break down the import tonnage in 2020 through February 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 where it came from. 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 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: Hot rolled imports overall were down by 9 percent year over year, but Detroit was up by 44 percent while Los Angeles was down by 39 percent. CTL plate into the Gulf was down drastically in January and February compared to the same period last year. Houston was down by 88 percent and New Orleans by 79 percent.

The table included here is a small part of the detailed analysis of the cold rolled sheet tonnage by district of entry and source nation. The bar graph shows the tonnage of cold rolled sheet that entered the top 10 districts through February year to date for 2019 and 2020 ranked by 2020 tonnage. These 10 districts accounted for 99.0 percent of the total cold rolled sheet tonnage in 2020 through February.

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 steel, which 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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