For the 12 months ending February 2018, U.S. mill shipments of long products increased by 6.2% year on year, (y/y). U.S. domestic consumption of long products increased by 0.1% over the same timeframe. Import share of long products averaged 18.4% over the past 12 months, down from 22.4% for the 12 months ending February 2017.
Table 1 presents data for long product steel shipments from mills; defined as domestic shipments plus exports as well as apparent domestic consumption; defined as domestic shipments plus imports.
Mill shipments increased for all products for the 12 months ending February 2018. Rebar mill shipments advanced 8.9% y/y. Wire Rod mill shipments were up 8.4% y/y. Merchant bar mill shipments were up by 5.7% y/y. Beam mill shipments recorded a gain of 3.6% y/y. Light Shapes increased 1.7% y/y and Angles & Channels managed a 0.1% y/y gain.
Domestic consumption of long products increased for most product groups. The exceptions were rebar which declined by 5.1% y/y and light-shapes, which were down 0.1% y/y. Merchant bars domestic shipments were up the most, higher by 5.8% y/y, followed by Wire rod, up 4.5% y/y. Beams moved-up 2.4% y/y, while Angle & Channels domestic shipments moved-up 1.8% y/y.
Import market-share of domestic consumption was down y/y, when all long products (includes other structural shapes, not included in Table 1) are grouped together, averaging 18.4% for the 12 months ending February 2018. This average was down 4.0 percentage points from the 2017 combined import level of 22.4%.
Rebar import market-share fell the most, down 9.7 percentage points y/y to 14.6%. Wire rod’s import market-share fell by 2.0 percentage points y/y to 36.9%. Beam’s import market-share increased 0.1 percentage point y/y to 11.9%. Merchant bars import market-share increased 0.1 percentage point y/y to 12.1%. Angles & Channels import market-share increased 0.6 percentage point y/y to 7.8%. Light shapes import market-share fell 1.3 percentage point y/y to 10.8%.
At Gerdau, we closely monitor production, domestic consumption and imports share of long product steel because it is important for our business and our customers businesses to understand the changes taking place in the U.S. long product marketplace.