Wire rod final imports to the US in February were down 6.5% year to date (YTD), year on year (y/y), totaling 291,425 tons for the two months ending February 2017. On a month over month comparison, wire rod imports jumped 28.2%.
Figure 1 charts the largest exporting countries in rank order on a YTD basis through February for both 2016 and 2017. Canada is by far the largest exporter at 83,984 tons, down 6.9% YTD y/y. Canadian imports account for 28.8% of the total thus far in 2017. Japan was the next largest with 41,716 tons, down 10.9% YTD y/y, followed closely by Ukraine with 38,530 tons, up 9.4% YTD y/y. Brazilian wire rod exports surged 30.7% to 32,475 tons while Russian exports increased to 19,467 tons, a 17.5% jump YTD y/y. Belarus export volume swelled 179% thus far in 2017, after shipping zero tons January, Belarus exported 16,762 tons in February. Turkey sent 13,300 tons of wire rod to the US through February, down 58.5% from 32,022 tons YTD last year. Rounding out the top eight was Italy with 11,395 tons YTD. Italy did not export any tons on the same period last year. The remaining 13 countries wire rod exports totaled approximately 26,000 tons or 8.9% of the total YTD.
New Orleans was the largest receiving port offloading 105,915 tons YTD, up 16% YTD y/y. Detroit held the number two spot with 61,494 tons, up 4.5% YTD y/y. Tampa was the next largest port bringing in 24,136 ton YTD, off 22% YTD y/y.
Figure 2 shows total wire rod licenses through April for both 2016 and 2017 as well as the average unit value (AUV), as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). Total requested licenses for wire rod imports in April was 148,462 tons down sharply from February’s 199,220 and March’s 159,562. Canada tops the list once again requesting licenses for 35,588 tons for April down from the previous months 61,759 tons. Japan requested 23,206 tons for April, Ukraine 17,403 tons Turkey 14,063 tons and Italy 14,935 tons. Figure 3 illustrates the top 10 countries YTD licenses.
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.