Rebar licenses thus through July 7th totaled just 21,112 tons, plummeting 92% month on month (m/m) from the April, May, June average of 158,993 tons. Year to date (YTD), there have been a total of 1,057,811 tons of rebar license requests, down 295,244 tons or 21.8% from YTD 2016.

rebar-imports-fig1Figure 1 shows total rebar licenses through July for both 2016 and 2017 as well as the average unit value (AUV), as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). Prices are trending higher as depicted by the light-blue line reaching $441 per ton in July, up $5 per ton m/m.

Figure 2rebar-imports-fig2 charts the YTD total by country for 2016 and 2017. Year to date, Turkey’s license requests totaled 765,789 tons down 209,246 tons YTD y/y, (-21.5%). Turkey’s has not requested any license thus far in July vs. an April, May, June average of 106,315 tons. Turkish material accounts for 72.3% of all rebar licenses YTD a y/y increase of 0.5 percentage points from 2016.

Japan with 24,169 tons of licenses YTD was down 87.4% from YTD 2016 level of 192,215 tons. Japan has not requested any licenses since February. Taiwan exported 13,274 tons to the US YTD 2017, off 80.4% y/y. Taiwan came back to the US in June (3,783 tons) and July (9,491), after zero tons in the January to May timeframe. Portugal was the next largest exporter with 74,446 tons through July, a substantial increase from YTD 2016s 4,299 tons, (+1,632%). Thus far in July to date Portugal has requested zero tons after a 56,783 tons month in June. Vietnam has a YTD total of 47,099 tons of licenses, up from zero in 2016. Vietnam did not request any licenses for July. Its April, May, June average was 29,127 tons.

Peru requested 35,871 tons YTD up 38.4% y/y. Peru has not requested any tons for July thus far. Its April, May, June average was 9,100 tons. The Dominican Republic’s license total YTD was 17,206 tons is up 17.2% over its YTD 2016 total of 14,687 tons. July’s licenses request was for 551 tons, down from its April, May, June average of 2,901 tons. Brazil’s volume jumped 30.1% YTD y/y to 15,872 tons. July’s license request so far surged to 10,341 tons, after a 5,531 ton month in June. Brazil did not export any rebar to the US in the January to May 2017 timeframe.

The next 15 largest exporting countries combined YTD licensed tonnage was 63,877 tons down 31.8% from YTD 2016s 92,702 tons. Their combined license requests total for July so far was 729 tons. This compares to its April, May, June average of 11,845 tons.

Clearly most of these countries are being very cautious as they await the recommended actions from the section 232 investigation on the effect of imports of steel on U.S. national security

initiated by the Trump administration on May 24th of this year.

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.