Beam imports to the US in January were down 40.4% year on year (y/y), 40,987 in 2017 vs 68,799 in 2016. Conversely if we compare 2016 volume (471,430 tons) to 2015 (391,325 tons), we see that year on year beam import volume ramped up 20.4%. This increase was on the heels of a 26% increase from 2014 to 2015 and a 16% increase from 2013 to 2014.

Luxembourg topped the country list in January with 12,472, up 1.8% y/y. South Korea was next totaling 8,289 tons, a 35% reduction from January 2016. After that was the United Arab Emirates with 6,252 tons. According to the USITC data the UAE only shipped 3 tons in January 2016.  The fourth largest exporter was Taiwan, sending 5,370 tons for a 21% increase y/y. Spain ranked fifth at 2,964 tons, off 88.5% y/y. Canada was next on the list with 2,310 tons, a decline of 1.5% y/y. Mexico and Germany were sixth and seventh directing 1,715 and 1,101 tons respectfully to the US, Figure 1.imports-fig1

Houston-Galveston Texas unloaded the most tons of beams in January with 11,494 tons, up 9.2% y/y and accounting for 28% of the total beam imports for the month, up from 15.3% a year ago. The second and third busiest ports for imported beams were both in California. Los Angeles and San Francisco with 6,664 tons, down 39.4%, y/y and 3,632 tons down 44.5% y/y respectfully. Mobile Alabama ranked fourth with 2,710 tons, plummeting 68.8% from January 2016.  Two east coast, ports followed. Philadelphia Pennsylvania with 2,556 tons dropping 62.3% y/y and Savannah Georgia at 2,367 tons this January, logged zero tons this month last year.


Data released by the US International Trade Commission reported fabricated beam imports January totaled 33,766 tons, down 11.6% y/y. Mexico was the largest exporter with 11,549 tons down 4.7% y/y, followed by Canada with 9,353 tons, down a fraction (-0.9%) y/y. Rounding out the top three was China at 5,184 tons. Chinese volume plummeted 43.4% y/y. The fourth largest exporter in January was Italy with 1,911 tons, a four-fold increase in supply vs the same month in 2016.imports-fig2

Figure 2 displays fabricated beam imports by country in rank order. The top two ports were in Texas, Laredo with 6,410 tons down 26.1% y/y and El Paso with 3,632 tons, up 132.8% y/y. St. Albans, Vermont was the next greatest entry point with 3,428 tons down 25.3% y/y. Ogdensburg NY was next with 2,844 tons, dropping 3.2% y/y, followed by Portland ME  at 2,461, +10.6%.

At Gerdau we closely follow trade in long products steel since it has a profound impact on domestic market share and material pricing. We want you, our valued customers to have access to current information that can help you better plan and operate your businesses.