Merchant licenses (YTD) through July 7th totaled 9,823 tons, down 86% from last month’s 70,456 tons. Year to date (YTD), there have been a total of 540,316 tons of Merchant license requests, down 2.9% from the 556,613 tons licensed YTD 2016.

merchant-imports-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses through July for both 2016 and 2017 as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). There are three sub groups that make up the overall Merchant total tonnage; these include Light angles and channels, MBQ bars and Heavy angles and channels. Light angles and channels July license total was 1,618 tons, down 89% from the April, May, June average of 15,291 tons. MBQ bars July license total was 4,025 tons down 92% from the April, May, June average of 48,989 tons.  Heavy angles and channels July license total was 4,179 tons down 17% from the April, May, June average of 33,751 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.

merchant-imports-fig2Figure 2 charts the overall total Merchant licenses through July for both 2016 and 2017 YTD by country for 2016 and 2017. Canada and Mexico are the largest exporters by a large margin, accounting for 59% of total licensed imports. Canada requested 169,742 licensed tons YTD in 2017, down 11.2% y/y. Mexico requested 149,705 licensed tons YTD in 2017, down 2.9% y/y.

Japan is the third largest exporter of merchant products YTD to the US with 49,605 licensed tons, off 10.2% y/y. Turkey’s license tons YTD were 34,756 tons, flat y/y. Germany licensed 31,709 tons YTD through July 2017, a 19.3% increase compared to the same period in 2016. The United Kingdom increased its YTD merchant license was flat y/y at 23,525 tons, while South Korea licensed 12,965 tons down 25.0% YTD y/y. Spain’s license volume surged by 45.8% YTD y/y to 14,699 tons. China licenses fell-back 76.3% from 16,775 tons YTD 2016 to 3,969 tons thus far in 2017. Brazil’s license requests YTD surged 9 fold to 17,876 tons YTD 2017, up from 1,897 tons YTD in 2016.

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.