Total SBQ licenses through January 11th totaled 6,951 tons, down 27,343 tons or 79.7% from last year’s 34,294 tons. Overall SBQ import licensed tons in 2017 were 16.4% higher year on year. The 2017 total was 535,811 tons, 75,581 tons more than the 460,230 ton level in 2016.

sbq-licences-fig1Figure 1 shows the monthly total SBQ licenses for both 2016 and 2017, (and January 2018) as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). January licenses to date are sharply lower than in previous months.

There are seven HTS codes for SBQ. Taking a look at the total licensed tons for 2017, (with 2016 in italics for comparison) for each of the HTS codes we see that; Bars (free cutting) licenses totaled (2017 = 128,731, 2016 =115,307, +11.6% year on year change). Other bars (forged), (9,779, 16,086, -39.2% y/y). Other bars (free cutting), (100,362, 64,697, +55.1% y/y). Other bars (cold formed/cold finished), (83,061, 73,697, +12.7% y/y). Bars (cold finished) (69,144, 66,209, +4.4% y/y). Other bars (alloy steel forged), (43,577, 23,383, +86% y/y). Other bars (alloy steel cold formed/cold finished), (101,157, 100,851, +0.3% y/y).

Figure 2 sbq-licences-fig2charts SBQ licenses through January 11th for 2018, along with January 2017 by country. The big three are Germany, France and Canada which together account for 56.4% of total licensed SBQ import volume for the year 2017.

Licensed tonnage totals for 2017 and y/y change for the top 10 countries that we monitor include; Germany requested 117,860 licensed tons in 2017, up 27.0% y/y. Germany’s January license requests through January 11th were 535 tons. France requested 90,634 licensed tons in 2017, 17.3% greater than its 2016 tons. France’s January to-date license requests were for 52 tons. Canada was the third largest exporter of SBQ products to the U.S. Its 2017 total was 93,485 licensed tons, up 50.5% y/y. Thus far in January, Canada has asked for 913 SBQ tons.

Spain’s licensed tons for 2017 totaled 29,839 tons, down 2.0% y/y. Spain’s January license requests thus far were for 1,125 tons.   China’s licensed 30,563 tons in 2017, a 75.7% increase compared to 2016. January license requests were for 348 tons. Italy increased its 2017 SBQ licenses by 37.0%, y/y to 26,575 tons. Italy has asked for 406 tons of SBQ licenses so far this month. Brazil licensed 21,433 tons in 2017, a 5.9% y/y decrease. Brazil has requested 1,863 tons for January. The United Kingdom SBQ license volume was lower by 22.4% for 2017 18,262 tons compared to 2016. The UK has licensed 179 tons so far this month. Korea has licensed 14,388 for 2017, 3.9% lower than 2016 volume. Korea has requested 221 tons so far this month. Sweden licensed 13,710 tons in 2017, a 3.9% y/y increase. For January to date Sweden had licensed 120 tons.

Twenty-six additional countries combined to license 41,221 tons of SBQ in 2017, 13.0% less than the 47,388 ton total in 2016. The combined license volume to-date for January though the 11th was 956 tons.

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.