Wire rod final imports to the U.S. were up 1.2% in 2017, year on year (y/y), totaling 1,889,860 tons for the twelve months ending December 2017. December’s tonnage was 36,716 tons, 76.7% lower than the YTD average volume of 157,488 tons.
Figure 1 charts the largest exporting countries in rank order on a YTD basis through December for both 2016 and 2017.
Canada was the largest exporter with 568,748 tons, up 2.8% y/y. December’s tonnage was 36,716 tons, 22.5% less than its 2017 average of 47,395 tons. Japan sent 319,302 tons to the U.S. in 2017, nearly identical to the 318,990 tons exported in 2016. December’s volume came in at 27,175 tons, close to its 2017 average of 26,609 tons. Brazil exported 175,044 tons of rod, gaining 21.5% y/y. December’s volume was 18,074 tons, 23.4% more than its 2017 average volume of 14,587 tons. Germany was the next largest with 130,831 tons, up 88% y/y. Volume for the month of December was 2,134 tons, 80.4% lower than its 2017 average of 10,903 tons. Turkey ranked fifth with 113,681 tons, up 15.4% y/y. Turkey has exported zero tons since October. Ukraine sent 103,482 tons of rod to the U.S., down 35.9% y/y. Ukraine has not exported any rod since July.
Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine combined to account for 1,433,027 tons or 75.8% of total wire rod imports.
Russia brought in 57,893 tons wire rod to the U.S. in 2017, 44.0% less than in 2016. Russia has not exported any rod in since July. Spain’s y/y volume decreased by 38.2% to 50,759 tons. December volume was 1,011 tons, up from zero in October and 35 tons in November. Egypt is a new entrant over the last few months offloading 48,699 tons. December and November volumes were zero tons. Egypt did not ship any tons in 2016.
Mexico 2017 wire rod exports were 46,959 tons, off 20.9% y/y. Mexico exported 2,626 tons of rod to the U.S. in December, down 32.9% from its 2017 average of 3,913 tons. The United Kingdom sent 40,315, down 23.5% y/y. The United Kingdom’s December volume was 10 tons after zero tons in November. Its average for the year was 3,360 tons. Korea sent 37,645 tons of rod to the U.S., down 63% y/y. Korea’s December tons came-in at 85 tons, a fraction of its 2017 average of 3,137 tons.
Vietnam exported 35,555 tons to the U.S. in 2017. Vietnam has only been active for four months in 2017. Vietnam did not send any tons in December. Vietnam did not export any rod to the U.S. in 2016. South Africa exported 31,156 tons of rod to the U.S. market in 2017, up 41.3% y/y. South Africa has not exported any rod since June. Italy exported 29,887 tons for the year, down 18.2% y/y. Italy has not send any rod to the U.S. since August. India bounced-back with 10,860 tons of rod exports in December. For the year India sent a total of 27,757 tons to the U.S, up from just over 1,000 tons in 2016. Belarus landed 27,757 tons of rod in the U.S. market in 2017, down 21.5% y/y. Belarus has not shipped any tons since June.
A dozen other countries exported a combined total of 44,336 tons, 2.3% of wire rod to the U.S. market for 2017. During the same period last year the same 14 country’s shipped substantially less, 4,926 tons.
New Orleans was the largest receiving port, offloading 580,085 tons in 2017, down 4.7% y/y. New Orleans’ December volume was 28,251 tons.
Detroit held the number two spot with 419,092 tons, up 5.3%, y/y. Detroit received 26,440 tons in December. Ogdensburg, NY took-in 128,639 tons, down 6.2% y/y. Its December receipts were for 8,042 tons. Houston-Galveston took-in 109,291 tons, up 5.8% y/y. December’s tonnage was 5,951.
Charleston received 106,710 tons, off 12.7%, y/y. December volume topped 9,457 tons. Tampa ranked fifth with 96,599 tons, off 19.0% y/y. Zero rod tons were exported to Tampa in each of November and December. Philadelphia brought-in 93,249 tons, up 3.5%, y/y. December tonnage was 4,909 tons. Mobile took-in 88,858 tons in 2017 up 168%, y/y. December volume was 9,489 tons. Savannah offloaded 67,656 tons, off 3.0% y/y. December tonnage was 2,605. Laredo TX received 33,618 tons in 2017, down 17.7% y/y. December receipts totaled 1,747 tons. The 11th largest wire rod receiving port was Cleveland, with 32,620 tons, down 7.4% y/y. December tonnage was light at 537.
Eighteen additional ports combined to receive 133,444 tons of wire rod imports in 2017, 6.9% of the total volume in 2017. In 2016, the same 18 ports took in 89,650 tons, or 4.8% of 2016 shipments.
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