Wire Rod licenses for the month of March through the 13th, totaled 13,810 tons, 93% lower than March 2017. On a YTD basis licensed import volume was 237,763 tons, 52% less than the 495,986 tons YTD 2017. Three HTS codes are includes in this analysis. Year to date, the largest contributor is Bars (<0.55”), which accounts for 67% of the total. Bars (silico-manganese) and Bars (alloy steel), makes-up the balance, accounting for 5% and 28% respectfully.

wirerod-fig1Figure 1 shows the overall total Wire Rod licenses from April 2017 through March 2018 as reported by the Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMA).

Figure 2wirerod-fig2 charts the YTD Wire Rod license totals through March for both 2017 and 2018 by country.

Canada’s license requests YTD through March 13th totaled total 89,911 tons, down 52% y/y. Canada has requested 6,852 tons of licenses thus far in March. This low number through March 13th was no doubt being influenced by the Trump administrations 25% tariffs on steel. It now appears that Canada and Mexico will gain an exemption tied to the renegotiation of the NAFTA free trade agreement. For reference, March 2017 license volume was 199,220 tons.

Japan’s YTD date license requests stood at 54,817 tons, down 38% from the 74,014 YTD y/y volume in 2017.  Japan has requested 6,009 tons for March, vs. 31,121 tons in March 2017. Brazil was the next largest exporter with 34,996 tons YTD, 26% lower than the YTD 2017 level of 40,975 tons. March to date license requests are for just 7 tons. In March 2017 this value was 8,500 tons. Ukraine has not requested any license so far in 2018. For YTD 2017, Ukraine licensed 66,000 tons.

Germany’s YTD license volume through March to-date was 30,132 tons, a 337% increase over its 2017 YTD volume of 6,900 tons. Germany’s licenses for March to-date total 904 tons, a 73% decrease vs. the 3,295 ton level in March 2017. Mexico’s YTD license volume was 4,699 tons, 68% lower compared to the 14,724 tons YTD 2017. Mexico has yet to request any licenses thus far in March. March 2017 license volume was 6,333 tons.

Turkey, Russia, Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, Belarus, Italy, Egypt, Vietnam South Africa and India have yet to license any tons through March 13th. These eleven countries combined licensed 64,797 tons in March 2017. Year to date, these eleven countries combined licensed volume YTD 2018 totals 20,522 tons. The combined YTD 2017 tonnage was 147,599 tons.

The average $AUV was $685 per ton in December, rising to $701 per ton in January before falling back to $676 per ton in February. The average $AUV through March 13th moved up to $755 per ton.

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