For the year ending December 2016, US mill shipments of long products fell 0.5% to 1.467 million tons. US domestic composition of long products fell 0.2% over the same time frame. Import share of long products was 22.6% for the year.
Table 1 presents data for long product steel shipments from mills defined as domestic shipments plus exports as well as apparent domestic consumption, defined as domestic shipments plus imports. Results varied dramatically by product. Rebar, light shapes and angles & channel shipments rose for both mill shipments and consumption. Declines for both metrics were recorded for merchants, beams, wire rod and SBQ. Light shapes domestic consumption witnessed the strongest increase in domestic consumption at +4.5% year on year (y/y), followed by rebar, +2.9% and angles & channels +0.9%. SBQ domestic consumption fell sharply, off 17.3% y/y. Merchant bars domestic consumption fell 4.0% y/y while wire rod consumption was off 2.3% y/y. Consumption of these products was impacted by a soft manufacturing environment (other than strong automobile sales), which struggled in 2016 combating a strong dollar which invites imports and imparts headwinds for exporters. In addition, the energy sector, plagued by low gas and oil prices also contributed to low steel demand for SBQ, MBQ and beams. Beam domestic consumption was down 2.5% y/y.
We closely monitor production, domestic consumption and imports share of long product steel because it is important for ours and our customers businesses to understand the changes taking place in the US long product marketplace.