Total Merchant licenses (representing 10 HTS codes), year to date, (YTD) through August 21st totaled 573,690 tons, down 9.8% from last year’s 636,090 tons. For the month of August, there have been a total of 36,155 tons of Merchant license requests, down 160.6% from the 94,211 tons May, June and July average volume.

merchant-licenses-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses through August 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 (3 HTS codes), August license total YTD was 7,451 tons, down 40.0% from the May, June, and July average of 13,299 tons. MBQ bars (3 HTS codes), August license total was 18,801 tons down 60.4% from the May, June, and July average of 47,588 tons. Heavy angles and channels (2 HTS codes), August license total was 5,036 tons down 61.2% from the May, June, and July average of 12,994 tons. Two additional HTS codes capture “other” structural angles to include alloy steel. The August total for these two HTS codes was 4,867 tons, down 74.1% from the May, June, and July average of 18,800 tons.

Figure 1 also presents the Average Unit Value, (AUV) which increased from $669 per ton in July to $676 per ton to August.

Figure 2 merchant-licenses-fig2charts the overall total Merchant licenses through August 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 67% of total licensed imports. Canada requested 202,807 licensed tons YTD in 2017, down 5.6% y/y. Mexico requested 182,662 licensed tons YTD in 2017, down 3.5% y/y. Japan is the third largest exporter of merchant products YTD to the US with 59,952 licensed tons, off 8.5% y/y. Turkey’s license tons YTD were 39,876 tons, down 0.8% y/y. Germany licensed 36,234 tons YTD through August 2017, a 18.1% increase compared to the same period in 2016. The United Kingdom increased its YTD merchant licenses by 2.6% YTD y/y at 28,857 tons, while South Korea licensed 18,104 tons down 3.9% YTD y/y. Spain’s license volume surged by 76.2% YTD y/y to 17,919 tons. China licenses fell-back 78.9% from 19,902 tons YTD 2016 to 4,211 tons thus far in 2017. Brazil’s license requests surged nine-fold to 19,739 tons YTD 2017, up from 2,135 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.