Steel Products Prices North America

Regional Imports Through July: Coiled Plate

Written by Peter Wright

National level import reports do a good job of measuring the overall market pressure caused by the imports of individual products. The downside is that there are huge regional differences. This report examines coiled plate imports by region through July 2020.

In July, coiled plate imports were down by 34.2 percent at the national level, but on a regional basis ranged from a 102 percent increase in the North Pacific ports to an 82 percent decline in the Gulf region. The Great Lakes receives by far the most tonnage and accounts for 77 percent of the national total. Coiled plate tonnage into the whole Atlantic coast and the North Pacific is minimal.

Note the tonnage scales on the Y axis of Figures 4-7 are not the same.

Pacific Coast: The coiled plate tonnage into the North Pacific ports has declined to almost zero this year and in the South has been erratically declining since April 2018. The whole West Coast has only accounted for 9 percent of the national total this year.

Atlantic Coast: The tonnage into the South Atlantic region was only 0.3 percent of the national total in 2020 year to date and the North Atlantic only accounted for 2.1 percent. Tonnage into the North has been extremely erratic since 2013.  

Gulf and Great Lakes: Almost all of the Gulf tonnage of coiled plate has entered through Houston with New Orleans only receiving 33 tons this year. The whole of the Gulf only accounted for 8 percent of the national total this year. The Great Lakes accounts for by far the greatest proportion of the national total with 77 percent entering through those ports this year.  

Rio Grande: Coiled plate tonnage declined to only a thousand tons per month in 2019 and stayed at that level through April this year. There has been a pickup since then, but only to 4,000 tons per month.   

Notes: SMU presents a comprehensive series of import reports ranging from the first look at licensed data to a detailed look at volume by district of entry and source nation. The report you are reading now is designed to plug the gap between these two. This report breaks total year to date import tonnage of six flat rolled products into seven regions and the growth/contraction for each product and region. There is a summary table for each product group and a bar chart showing volume by region for the first seven months of 2020. These are reference documents with no specific comments. These charts have been developed as a guide for buyers and sellers to have a broader understanding of what’s going on in their own backyard.

Regions are compiled from the following districts:

Atlantic North: Baltimore, Boston, New York, Ogdensburg, Philadelphia, Portland ME, St. Albans and Washington. DC.

Atlantic South: Charleston, Charlotte, Miami, Norfolk and Savannah.

Great Lakes: Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Duluth, Great Falls, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Pembina.

Gulf: Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, San Juan, St. Louis and Tampa.

Pacific North: Anchorage, Columbia Snake, San Francisco and Seattle.

Pacific South: Los Angeles and San Diego.

Rio Grande Valley: Laredo and El Paso.

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