Wire Rod licenses for the month of January through the 11th, totaled 12,324 tons, 78.7% lower than the 2016 volume of 137,204 tons. Overall wire rod import licensed tons in 2017 were 1.5% lower than in 2016. The 2016 total was 1.868 million, (M), 28,526 tons less than the 1.839M level in 2017.

Three HTS codes are includes in this analysis. The largest contributor is Bars (<0.55”), which accounts for 71% of the total. Bars (silico-manganese) and Bars (alloy steel), makes-up the balance, accounting for 4% and 25% respectfully.

wirerod-licenses-fig1Figure 1 shows total wire rod licenses by month 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.

Figure 2wirerod-licenses-fig2 charts wire rod licenses through January 11th for 2018, along with January 2017 by country. Thus far only Canada (6,638 tons), Japan (4,319 tons) and Mexico (319 tons) and Brazil (240 tons) licensed any volume in January.

Taking a look at the annual total licensed tonnages for 2016 and 2017 totals, we see that; Canada’s license requests for 2017 totaled total 535,589 tons, up 4.9% or 24,960 tons over the 2016 total of 510,629. Japan’s 2017 total license requests were 320,269 tons, down 5.0% from the 336,987 licensed tons in 2016. Brazil was the next largest with 175,284 licensed tons 2017, up 22.4% from the 2016 level of 143,179 tons. Ukraine’s license requests for 2017 were 104,439 tons, down 37.0% or 61,454 tons from the 2016 level of 165,893 tons. Turkey’s 2017 date license requests total was 104,591 tons, up 0.5% over the 104,092. Germany’s licensed tons were 138,168 for 2017, up from 69,623 tons or 98.5% over 2016s volume of 69.623 tons. Russia licensed 57,504 tons 2017 compared to 104,184 tons in 2016, down 44.8% y/y.

Korea’s 2017 total licensed tonnage was 39,185, down 82,794 tons or 67.9% from the 121,979 tons in 2016. Spain’s license requests in 2017 were 51,917 tons, down 34.7% from the 79,520 wire rod tons licensed in 2016. Mexico’s license requests in 2017 were 46,667 tons vs. 58,803 tons for 2016, a 20.6% increase year on year. The United Kingdom’s 2017 license total was 41,070 tons, this was 22.1% lower than the 52,742 tons licensed in 2016. Belarus licensed 27,757 tons of rod for the U.S. market in 2017, 11,005 or 28.4% less than the 38,762 tons exported in 2016. Italy’s 2017 total was 29,905 tons, 3,228 tons or 9.9% less than its 33,192 ton volume in 2016. South Africa licensed 32,028 tons in 2017, an increase of 9,979 tons or +45.3% compared to the 22,049 tons for 2016. Egypt did not license any tons of rod in 2016, but jumped to 48,752 tons in 2017. All of these tons were licensed between July and September.

Nineteen additional countries licensed wire rod to the U.S. for a combined total of 84,964 tons in 2017. The same countries license total was 24,638 tons for 2016, a 245% y/y increase.

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