SBQ final imports to the U.S. were up 19.7% year to date (YTD), year on year (y/y), totaling 356,128 tons for the eight months ending August 2017. August SBQ imports came in at 37,704, 15.3% lower than the 44,516 ton YTD average volume.

sbq-import-final-fig1Figure 1 charts the largest exporting countries in rank order on a YTD basis through August for both 2016 and 2017.

Canada was the largest exporter with 111,768 tons, up 6.7% YTD y/y. August’s volume at 9,655 tons, was 30.9% less than its 13,971 ton YTD average volume. Germany sent 58,463 tons to the U.S. YTD, up 16.7% y/y. August exports were 6,098 tons, 16.6% lower than the 7,308 ton average through the first eight months of the year. France ranked third YTD with 45,397, up 39.4% YTD y/y. For the month of August, French SBQ exports to the U.S. were 7,373 tons, 29.0% higher than its YTD average of 5,675 tons. Spain exported 24,114 tons YTD, gaining 20.9% YTD y/y. August volume came in at 4,012 tons, 33.1% more than its YTD average volume of 3,014 tons. Brazil sent 20,726 tons of SBQ to the U.S., surging 426% YTD y/y. August volume was 484 tons, down 81.3% compared to its 2,591 ton YTD average volume. China exported 16,870 tons of SBQ, jumping 65.6% YTD y/y. Volume for the August was 3,112 tons, up 47.5% from its 2,109 ton monthly average over the first eight months of the year.

Italy was the next largest with 16,537 tons, up 44.0% YTD y/y. Italian SBQ exports in August were 1,284 tons, 37.9% higher than its YTD average volume of 2,067 tons. Korea sent 12,956 tons of SBQ products to the U.S. YTD, up 24.5% y/y. Volume for the month of August was 1,488 tons, 8.1% below its YTD average of 1,620 tons. The United Kingdom’s YTD volume of SBQ exports to the U.S. was 10,403 tons, 42.6% less than YTD 2016. August’s exports were 1,370 tons, 5.4% greater than its YTD average of 1,300 tons. Turkey exported 7,479 tons of SBQ to the U.S. through August, off 13.3% y/y. Turkey sent 508 tons of SBQ bars to the U.S. in August, 45.6% less than its YTD average of 935 tons.

These top ten countries account for 91.2% of the total SBQ intake. There were 22 other countries that exported a combined 31,415 tons of SBQ YTD 2017. Year to date last year the same 22 country’s total import quantity was 27,489 tons. The top 10 YTD 2016 accounted for 90.7%.

SBQ is broken down into seventeen sub-categories, Table 1 sbq-import-final-table1presents the breakdown by Harmonized Tariff Schedule, or HTS code in rank order by 2017 import volume. Rounds, (0.25 – 0.6 carbon) was the HTS code with the largest import volume YTD at 62,771 tons, up 7.4% YTD y/y. The next largest SBQ import HTS code was leaded coil with 61,156 tons, up 27.7% y/y. Rounds >3” was the third largest category with 32,127 tons YTD, up 5.0% YTD y/y.

Detroit was the largest receiving port, offloading 100,099 tons YTD, up 13.3% YTD y/y. Chicago held the number two spot with 48,629 tons, gaining 13.8% YTD y/y. Buffalo ranked third with 47,285 tons declining 2.6% YTD y/y. Houston/Galveston was the next largest port bringing in 29,103 tons YTD, an increase of 82.0% YTD y/y. New Orleans, received 28,396 tons, climbing 20.4% YTD y/y. Miami took-in 16,953, YTD y/y, up from just 650 YTD 2016. New York was the 7th largest receiver of U.S. SBQ with 14,533 tons, up 12.4% YTD y/y. St. Albans VT offloaded 12,718 tons, up 38.1% YTD y/y. Savannah was next with 6,909 tons, down 27.7% YTD y/y. Rounding-out the top 10 was Mobile, bringing in 6,742 tons, soaring 246.4% YTD y/y.

Twenty-four additional ports combined to receive 44,761 tons of SBQ imports thus far in 2017, 12.5% of the total volume YTD. Year to date 2016 the same 24 country’s combined shipments was 44,103 tons very close to the same as this year but representing a higher, (14.8%) of YTD 2016 total SBQ imports.

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