Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), through January 11th totaled 17,458 tons, down 57,176 tons or 76.6% from last year’s 74,635 tons. Overall merchant import licensed tons in 2017 were higher year on year. The 2017 total was 965,972 tons 26,559 tons or 8.6% greater than the 921,552 tons in 2016.

merchant-licenses-fig1Figure 1 shows total merchant licenses by month and previous year as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). January licenses to date were sharply lower than in previous months.

Totals tons by product grouping for 2017 and 2016 in italics include: Light channel, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled (50,983, 56,660). Light angle, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled (103,470, 109,501). Structural channels licenses totaled (102,205, 87,179). Structural angles, (>3.15 inches) licenses totaled (38,677, 42,031). Other Structural angles totaled (101,123, 113,561). Other Bars (forged), (131,024, 126,318). Rectangular Bars, (100,215, 104,623). Other Bars licenses totaled (250,286, 216,291) tons. Other structural angles, (Alloy Steel) totaled, (86,717, 64,223).

Figure 2merchant-licenses-fig2 charts merchant licenses through January 11th for 2018, along with January 2017 by country. Licensed merchant tons for January were booked by Canada (5,358 tons), Mexico (3,205), Brazil (6,253), Turkey (63), Germany (1,345), Japan (16), U.K. (312) and Czech Republic (835).

Taking a look at the annual total licensed tonnages for 2016 and 2017 totals, we see that; Canada’s license requests for 2017 totaled 333,932 tons, up 26,559 tons or 8.6% compared to the 307,373 tons licensed in 2016. Mexico requested 255,041 licensed tons in 2017, 6,066 tons or 2.3% lower than its 2016 volume of 261,107 tons. Canada and Mexico together accounted for 61.0% of total licensed Merchant imports 2017. This number is down 0.7 percentage points from the 61.7% combined number for 2016.

Japan is the third largest exporter of merchant products to the U.S. Its 2017 total was 82,829 licensed tons, down 7,152 tons or 7.9% from its 2016 level of 89,981 tons. Turkey’s licensed tons in 2017 were 47,744 tons, down 14,676 tons or 23.5% from the 62,419 ton level in 2016. Germany licensed 58,465 tons 2017, a 15,909 ton or 37.4% increase compared to the 42,556 tons licensed in 2016. The United Kingdom increased its 2017 merchant licenses by 19.3%, to 47,375 tons from 39,712 tons in 2016. Korea licensed 31,924 tons 2017, a 39.5% increase over its 22,883 ton volume in 2016. Taiwan licensed volume for 2017 was 17,229 tons, 22.4% lower than the 22,192 tons sent to the U.S. in 2016. Brazil licensed 27,001 tons 2017, a 20,856 or 339% increase from the 6,144 tons exported in 2016. Spain’s merchant license volume was up 27.5% in 2017 to 20,486 tons from its 2016 total of 16,068 tons. China’s merchant licensed tonnage fell 77.1% year on year. China licensed 5,075 tons in 2017 vs. 22,153 tons in 2016. Luxembourg’s 2017 merchant tonnage was 11,706. This was a 53.8% increase over its 7,612 ton volume for 2016.

Twenty-seven additional countries combined to license 27,062 tons through 2017, up 35.0% from the 20,039 tons licensed 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.