Steel Blog

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) provided license data through Oct. 17 (today) regarding the amount of foreign steel slated to come into the United States during the month of October. Based on the license data, the trend is for yet another 3 million net ton (or higher) month.

There are some significant changes to the numbers that should be viewed carefully. The trend on semi-finished steels (mostly slabs) is for close to 800,000 net tons. This would be up 200,000 tons compared to the previous month. The three-month moving average (3MMA) is 804,000 net tons, so the data is staying consistent. Oil country tubular goods continue to surge with the trend now for 324,000 net tons, which is within the 3MMA for the product and well above the 12-month moving average. Larger imports of OCTG hurts sales of domestic hot rolled coil.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

One of the questions we get regularly is what are steel buyers and sellers of steel saying about their business (demand) and inventory levels? Over this past week, Steel Market Update spoke with quite a few companies and asked them how they were seeing business and if their company was building flat rolled or steel plate inventories. A number believe flat rolled steel prices will return to their normal seasonal swoon in early fourth quarter, only to rebound when steel mill lead times reach into the New Year.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

One of the questions we get regularly is what are steel buyers and sellers of steel saying about their business (demand) and inventory levels? Over this past week, Steel Market Update spoke with quite a few companies and asked them how they were seeing business and if their company was building flat rolled or steel plate inventories. A number believe flat rolled steel prices will return to their normal seasonal swoon in early fourth quarter, only to rebound when steel mill lead times reach into the New Year.

The following calculation is used by Steel Market Update to identify the theoretical spread between foreign hot rolled steel import prices (delivered to USA ports) and domestic (USA) hot rolled coil prices (FOB Domestic mills). We want our readers to be aware that this is only a "theoretical" calculation as freight costs, trader margin and other costs can fluctuate, ultimately influencing the true market spread.

Our primary numbers for this analysis are from Platts as we compare European HRC export pricing (FOB Ruhr), Turkey HRC export pricing (FOB Turkey) and Chinese HRC export pricing (FOB Chinese port). Be aware that Chinese hot rolled pricing is not available to the U.S. market, so the Chinese spread is nothing more than an exercise in "what if." SteelBenchmarker is the secondary data provider of foreign hot rolled coil prices and is noted further down in this article.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

License Data Indicates Stubborn Import Market

Thursday, 12 October 2017 14:53

The expectation has been for a huge swing lower in the amount of flat rolled foreign steel imports coming into the United States in October. The industry is waiting for the combination of the drying up of the surge of orders placed to “beat” any Section 232 duty and the impact of higher world steel prices, which has made foreign steel less competitive in the U.S.

One of the items that was anticipated was that the Section 232 review on steel recommendations would be provided to President Trump by Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the end of June, and then the announcement on any duties/quotas would be made potentially as early as July 2017. As we all know, the recommendations from Ross and any presidential decision have been put off until after tax reform has been passed by the U.S. Congress.

So, what has been happening with foreign steel imports over the past two years? The data is quite telling.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

The following article was written by trade attorney Lewis E. Leibowitz regarding the historical  precedent for exclusion of products from any Section 232 decision that impacts imports of foreign steel. Leibowitz is well known to Steel Market Update, having spoken on trade issues at a number of SMU Steel Summit Conferences, and he has provided insights on many trade issues to SMU over the years. We have provided his contact information at the end of this article.

Section 232 and Exclusion of Steel Products from Import Restrictions: The Steel Safeguard Precedent



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

Flat Rolled Steel Imports Down

Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:29

Total rolled steel imports declined by 5.8 percent in the three months through September, compared with the three months through June. Sheet product imports were down by 3.9 percent on the same basis.

The final license data for September was reported by of the U.S. Commerce Department on Oct. 3. The data is reported within the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis system (SIMA). An explanation of the methodology used to analyze the trade data is given at the end of this piece, together with notes describing SIMA. All volumes in this analysis are reported in short tons. We prefer not to dwell on single-month results because of the extreme variability that can occur in individual products. In the comments below, we use three-month moving averages to give what we believe is the most accurate picture.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

Cold Rolled, Coated Imports Continue to Surge

Thursday, 05 October 2017 14:36

Despite the major flat rolled trade cases concluded in 2016, flat rolled steel imports continue to surge. Coated imports are at their highest levels ever and cold rolled imports are near record levels. This article, by Paul Lowrey of Steel Research Associates, provides some historical context to the current situation.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

U.S. Steel's Section 337 petition took another blow this week when Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord terminated the trans-shipment claim that accused China of misrepresenting country of origin on steel imports.

Lord had dismissed the claim in January, citing lack of evidence by U.S. Steel to support its allegations. The claim was remanded to Lord by the International Trade Commission to review the circumstantial evidence that U.S. Steel provided, which the ITC decided was sufficient enough to warrant another review.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

The United States’ share of the global steel scrap trade has changed little in the two and a half years through second-quarter 2017. Steel Market Update performs this analysis quarterly to understand the gyrations of the domestic scrap market and where the U.S. stands as a global player. This data is not very current because some nations are slow to report, but we still believe it gives a valuable perspective on global trends and is the foundation of where we are today.



ALREADY A SMU MEMBER? SIGN IN BELOW:

*Note: If you see your subscription information above, please renew or upgrade your membership to read the full article.

Page 1 of 54