Preliminary steel import license data was updated late last week, pegging March at 1.75 million net tons of total steel imports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The preliminary March data shows finished imports at 1.5 million tons, up roughly 12 percent over the previous month. Nearly 230,000 tons of semi-finished product imports are expected to have been imported in March (mostly slabs), up from 150,000 tons in February.
April import licenses collected through the 23rd rose to 2.5 million tons, with 1.4 million tons being semi-finished and 1.1 million tons being finished products; this surge in semi-finished imports is a result of the quarterly quota resets.
Note: The January, April, July, and October import figures are unusually high as a result of buyers seeking to max out quarterly quota limits on semi-finished products. For the remainder of each quarter, final semi-finished imports are significantly lower. Due to these month-to-month swings, SMU has ceased monthly import “trending” projections and now only shows unadjusted figures as reported by the Commerce Department.
The two graphics below show total steel imports through March preliminary census data. To provide the most clarity, we are only showing a two-year snapshot. To see a greater data history and utilize our interactive graphing features, you can visit our website. Contact us at info@SteelMarketUpdate.com if you have any questions.
Brett LintonRead more from Brett Linton
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.