Recently released Census data shows final June steel imports totaled 1.40 million net tons, down 22 percent from May and down 50 percent from March, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is the lowest monthly import level since November 2009 when total imports were 1.38 million tons. This final June figure is just 5,800 tons higher than the preliminary import figures SMU reported in late-July.
Finished imports in June totaled 1.33 million tons, down 12 percent from May, but flat with April. Imports of semifinished products (mostly slabs) were just 69,000 tons in June, down from 297,000 tons the month prior. This contrasts with April when semifinished imports were at 1.45 million tons as the quarterly quotas for those products had reset.
July import licenses are currently at 1.73 million tons, with 274,000 tons being semifinished and 1.45 million tons being finished products.
Note: The January, May, July and October import figures are unusually high as a result of buyers seeking to max out quarterly quota limits on semifinished products. For the remainder of each quarter, final semifinished 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. As shown in the figure below, finished steel import levels are much less volitile and more accurately display the U.S. steel import trend month-to-month.
The three graphics below show total steel imports through July license data. To provide the most clarity, we are only showing a limited time line in each graphic. 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.