Total Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), year to-date, (YTD) through February 20th totaled 108,918 tons, down 39,955 tons or 26.8% from last year’s 188,873 tons. Month to-date, there have been a total of 42,475 tons of Merchant license requests, 42.8% lower than February 2017 volume of 74,239 tons.

merchants-licenses-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses through February for both 2016 and 2017 as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA). There are three sub groups that make up the overall Merchant total tonnage; these include Light angles and channels, MBQ bars and Structural angles and channels.

Light channel, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled 3,284 tons for February MTD and 7,811 tons YTD. Light angle, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled 4,230 tons for February month to-date, (MTD) and 10,076 tons YTD. Structural channels licenses totaled 4,645 tons for February month to-date, (MTD) and 8,735 tons YTD. Structural angles, (>3.15 inches) licenses totaled 1,828 tons for February month to-date, (MTD) and 4,298 tons YTD. Other Structural angles totaled 5,886 tons for February and 14,770 tons YTD. Other Bars (forged), totaled 5,805 tons for February and 14,770 tons YTD. Rectangular Bars totaled 4,369 tons for February and 10,786 tons YTD. Other Bars licenses added to 10,102 tons for the month and 32,811 tons YTD. Light T shapes totaled 24 tons for February and 193 tons YTD.

Figure 2merchants-licenses-fig2 charts the overall total Merchant licenses through February for both 2017 and 2018 YTD by country. Canada requested 39,802 licensed tons YTD in 2018, down 27.3% y/y. Canada’s February license requests to-date in stood at 13,109 tons, 51.6% lower than its February 2017 volume of 27,089 tons. Mexico license volume YTD in 2018 was 25,339 tons, 44.3% lower than for the first two months of 2017. Mexico has licensed 11,302 tons thus far in February, about one-half of the 22,476 tons licensed in February 2017. Japan is the third largest exporter of merchant products to the U.S. Its YTD total through February was 8,007 licensed tons, down 37.9% y/y. Thus far in February Japan has asked for 3,600 tons, 56.6% below the 8,286 tons licensed last February.

Turkey’s licensed tons YTD were 3,650, down 63.1% y/y. Turkey’s February license requests thus far this month are for 1,065 tons, 72.6% lower than last year’s 3,887 tons. The United Kingdom decreased its YTD merchant licenses by 16.0%, y/y to 6,128 tons. The UK has asked for 1,649 tons of merchant licenses so far this month, down from its 3,565 ton volume last February. Germany licensed 5,856 tons YTD through February 2018, a 15.6% decrease compared to the same period in 2017. February license requests were for 2,564 tons, 20.6% lower than last February’s level.

Korea licensed 7,805 tons YTD, a four-fold y/y increase from YTD 2017. Korea has requested 6,029 tons so far this month, over six times its 2017 YTD volume. Brazil licensed 6,275 tons YTD 2017, vs. just 333 tons YTD 2017. Brazil has requested zero tons so far this month. Taiwan license volume YTD totaled 918, down substantially from the 3,435 ton level YTD 2017. Taiwan has requested 918 tons so far this month. Luxembourg licensed 2,056 tons YTD 2018, up 56.7% y/y. February to-date license volume was 1,437 tons

Twelve additional countries combined to license 3,031 tons of merchants YTD 2018. The combined license volume to-date for February though the 20th was 758 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.