Total Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), year to date, (YTD) through September 14th totaled 708,424 tons, down 23.1% from last year’s 921,552 tons. Month to date, there have been a total of 15,816 tons of Merchant license requests, well down last month’s 81,066 tons and 82.7% lower than the YTD average through August of 86,576 tons.

merchants-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses through September 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.

Heavy angles and channels totaled 4,787 tons for September month to date, (MTD) and 250,159 tons YTD. Light angles and channels totaled 1,323 tons for September MTD and 117,101 tons YTD. MBQ bars totaled 9,706 tons for September MTD and 341,155 tons YTD.

Figure 2merchants-fig2 charts the overall total Merchant licenses through September for both 2016 and 2017 YTD by country for 2016 and 2017. Canada and Mexico together accounted for 59% of total licensed Merchant imports YTD. Canada requested 202,018 licensed tons YTD in 2017, down 18.6% y/y. Mexico requested 197,866 licensed tons YTD in 2017, within 0.4% of YTD 2016 tons.

Japan is the third largest exporter of merchant products YTD to the US with 69,634 licensed tons, down 1.9% y/y. Turkey’s licensed tons YTD were 41,237 tons, down 2.5% y/y. Germany licensed 39,405 tons YTD through September 2017, a 19.0% increase compared to the same period in 2016. The United Kingdom increased its YTD merchant licenses by 9.2% YTD y/y at 33,602 tons, while South Korea licensed 18,614 tons YTD down 5.8% YTD y/y. Spain’s license volume surged by 50.0% YTD y/y to 18,475 tons. Taiwan exported 4,955 more tons YTD than in the same period last year, a 47.0% y/y increase. China licensed 4,624 Tons YTD 2017, down sharply, (-77.0%) from the 20,162 tons exported YTD 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.