US steel import licenses surge in December; true volumes lower?

US imports of steel products might have surged in December 2019, according to an advance indicator of offshore arrivals.

But attempts to draw firm conclusions from import license figures - which have differed from final Census volumes in recent months - might be premature, government data, comments from an International Trade Administration (ITA) spokesperson and calculations by Fastmarkets indicate.
The tally
The US was licensed to import 2.04 million tonnes of steel in December 2019, up by 45.9% from 1.4 million tonnes in November 2019 and up by 18.8% from 1.72 million tonnes in December 2018, according figures from the US Commerce Department.
Almost all of that gain was due to a surge in import licenses for foreign semi-finished goods - a product category that includes steel slabs - and for semi-finished products from Brazil in particular.

The US was licensed to import 832,802 tonnes of semi-finished...


Michael Cowden

January 03, 2020

23:09 GMT