US flat-rolled steel import market quiet; prices continue lower

The flat-rolled steel import market has remained largely quiet, with US buyers showing little appetite for foreign material given falling domestic prices. Still, prices for most flat-rolled imports moved lower in the two weeks to Wednesday June 12, with certain countries trying to match US prices in order to fill their quota volumes under Section 232.

“Imports for the moment are dead,” one Midwest trader said. “Who wants to buy steel today to receive in the fourth quarter? Nobody in this market environment.” Indeed, US import licenses for both hot-rolled coil and coiled plate dropped by more than 50% year on year in May; and imports of cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized sheet declined by 36.9% and 29.7% respectively in the same comparison, according to license data from the US Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance Division. “Imports aren’t a factor in the market,” one domestic mill source said, pointing to fast-falling prices for US material. “Countries can’t pay 25% [Section 232 tariffs] and sell here without selling below their home-market prices.” Hot-rolled coil Fastmarkets AMM’s price assessment for hot-rolled coil imports at Houston docks fell to $560-600 per short ton cfr on June 12, down...


Muyao Shen

June 13, 2019

23:09 GMT

New York