Steel import licenses for US fall in May

  • 07-Jun-2019
  • Steel import licenses for US fall in May

Import licenses for May were down by 12pc to 2.34mn t from the same period prior year, according to the US Commerce Department.

Canadian companies only requested licenses to export 299,000t of steel mill products, down by 54pc from May 2018. Mexico's licenses fell by 38pc to 218,000t compared to May 2018.

Import licenses for Turkey fell by half to 41,000t in May from in the same period the prior year.

The data reflects a month split by the decision on 17 May by US president Donald Trump to reduce steel tariffs on Turkey from 50pc to 25pc and remove the Section 232 steel tariff of 25pc on Canada and Mexico.

Many expected Turkey to regain some US rebar market after the tariffs were halved, but there has so far been little activity regarding Turkish sales to the US.

Import licenses for hot-rolled coil (HRC) fell by half to 103,000t in May compared to the same period the prior year. Licenses for plates in coils dropped by 46pc to 78,000t from in May 2018, while wire rod import licenses fell by 53pc to 57,000t in the same period prior year. Import licenses for oil country goods and sheets and strip of hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) fell by 20pc each to 191,000t and 188,000t, respectively.

Export licenses for Brazil and South Korea, which both have quota agreements with the US without tariffs, increased in May. Brazil's licenses more than doubled to 563,000t from 266,000t in the same period prior year, while import licenses for South Korea increased to 268,000t from 100,000t in May 2018.

Import licenses for blooms, billets and slabs increased by 47pc to 632,000t from May 2018. Brazil made up the majority of the increase, with import licenses from Brazil for blooms, billets and slabs increasing to 511,000t in May from 197,000t from the same period of the prior year.

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