Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), through January 24th totaled 42,143 tons, down 34,292 tons or 43.5% 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 and have been down month on month, (m/m) for each of the last three 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 2 merchant-licenses-fig2charts merchant licenses through January 24th for 2018, along with January 2017 by country. Canada licensed 15,901 tons through the 24th of January, down 11.4% from last January’s 27,641 tons. Mexico licensed 10,081 tons, down 56.1% year on year, (y/y) from the 22,986 tons booked in January 2017. Japan licensed 3,035 tons month to date, 15.5% lower than January 2017 volume.

Turkey licensed 1,969 tons month to date, down 12.0% from last January’s 6,011 tons. Germany booked 2,163, 41.7% lower y/y. The U.K. licensed 935 tons month to date, off 74.9% from last January’s volume. Korea licensed 247 tons through the 24th of this month, down 53.7% y/y. Taiwan did not license any tons this month compared to 3,051 tons last January. Brazil licensed volume surged to 6,257 tons month to date, a 19 fold increase from last year’s 333 tons.

Spain with 22 licensed tons month to date was lower by about one half of last January’s 41 tons.

China booked 83 tons so far in January 2018, down 71.2% y/y. Luxembourg licensed 385 tons of merchant month to date, down 51.1% y/y. The Czech Republic licensed 835 tons this month, up from one ton last January.

The $AUV averaged $644 per ton in January 2017, rising to $716 in November where the price remained (+ or – $2) through to January 2018.

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.