Total Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), year to-date, (YTD) through March 13th totaled 141,412 tons down 40% from last year’s 236,236 tons. Month to-date, there have been a total of 12,790 tons of Merchant license requests, 85% lower than March 2017 volume of 87,253 tons.

merchant-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses from April 2017 through March 2018 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 angle, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled 1,322 tons for March MTD and 14,015 tons YTD. Light channel, (<3.15 inches) licenses totaled 3,219 tons for March month to-date, (MTD) and 12,542 tons YTD. Structural channels licenses totaled 477 tons for March month to-date, (MTD) and 11,128 tons YTD. Structural angles, (>3.15 inches) licenses totaled 479 tons for March month to-date, (MTD) and 5,737 tons YTD. Other Structural angles totaled 2,733 tons for March and 19,029 tons YTD. Other Bars (forged), totaled 631 tons for March and 16,277 tons YTD. Rectangular Bars totaled 1,322 tons for March and 14,202 tons YTD. Other Bars licenses added to 2,089 tons for the month and 39,700 tons YTD. Light T shapes totaled zero tons for March and 239 tons YTD.

Figure 2merchant-fig2 charts the overall total Merchant licenses through March for both 2017 and 2018 by country. Canada requested 52,393 licensed tons YTD in 2018, down 2,336 tons or 4% y/y. Mexico license volume YTD in 2018 was 37,101 tons, 8,362 tons or 18% lower than for the first three months of 2017. Japan was the third largest exporter of merchant products to the U.S. Its YTD total through March was 10,427 licensed tons, down 2,474 tons or 19% y/y. The United Kingdom YTD merchant licenses added to 7,443 tons, close to the 7,292 licensed tons requested YTD 2017. Turkey’s licensed tons YTD through March 13th were 4,208, down 5,691 tons or 57% y/y. Germany licensed 6,287 tons YTD thus far in 2018, a 656 ton or 9% decrease compared to the same period in 2017.

Korea licensed 9,250 tons YTD, a six-fold y/y increase from YTD 2017. Brazil licensed 6,355 tons YTD 2018, a substantial increase from the 333 tons level YTD 2017. Taiwan license volume YTD totaled 2,536 tons, down 899 tons or 26% from the 3,435 ton level YTD 2017. Luxembourg licensed 2,126 tons YTD 2018, a 1,236 ton or 139% y/y increase.

The average $AUV was $718 per ton in December, rising to $734 per ton in January and $749 per ton in February. The average $AUV through March 13th rolled back to $663 per ton.

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.