Based on reported import licenses, US flat products imports dropped 19% from 1,359,000 short tons in July to 1,101,000 tons in August. Flat products imports in August 2013 were 767,000 tons and in August 2012 they were 695,000 tons. Year-to-August flat products imports were 60% higher than in the same period last year, with cold rolled imports rising the most year-on-year by 84%.

Imports of all flat products categories fell between July and August, however, the fall in hot rolled imports accounted for close to 80% of the total decline. Hot rolled imports declined significantly from Russia and Korea, but also from the Netherlands, Italy and Brazil.

I will update the chart below to show mid-September license data when the figures are published the week of September 15th.

SIMA US import licenses and actuals, flat products
October 2011 to August 2014

short tons

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Crude steel production in China was 68.3 million metric tonnes in July, 4.4% higher than in July 2013 but 4.6% lower on an average daily basis compared to June 2014. January-to-July crude production for 2014 was 4.8% higher than in the same period last year.

China’s net finished steel exports in July were 6.9 million tonnes, 73% higher than in the same month last year and 15% more than in June 2014. Year-to-July 2014 net exports were also 46% higher than in the year-to-July 2013.

China monthly crude steel production July 2004 to July 2014
(thousand metric tonnes)

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Worldsteel published July’s global crude steel production on August 20th. World crude steel production was 136.8 million metric tonnes, 3% higher than in July 2013. Production for the months of January to July 2014 was also 3% higher than in the same period last year.

In July, China accounted for 50% of world production with an output of 68.3 million tonnes, a 4% increase compared to July 2013. Also in Asia, South Korea showed a 6% output rise compared to July last year. European Union countries’ production fell 2% year-on-year, while US production grew by the same amount. Other significant changes affecting the world total were an 8% increase in Russia and a 12% drop in the Ukraine between July 2013 and July 2014.

All the data for July 2014 and for a number of prior years can be viewed in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses and as predicted in last month’s post, US long products imports dropped 20% from 381,000 short tons in June to 306,000 tons in July. July 2014 imports were 4% lower than in July 2013, and in addition, January-to-July 2014 imports were 19% higher than in the same period last year.

An approximately 50% drop in wire rod imports between June and July drove the overall decline. This was mainly due to lower wire rod volumes from Turkey, South Korea, and Japan.

Long product import licenses for August as reported August 19th were 316,000 tons, which is likely to mean that full-month August imports will be much higher than July’s.

SIMA US long products import licenses and import actuals
2012 to 2014

short tons

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Based on reported import licenses, US flat product imports increased 15% from 1,160,000 short tons in June to 1,336,000 tons in July. Flat products imports in July, 2013 were 678,000 tons and in July, 2012 they were 798,000 tons. January-to-July flats imports were 63% higher than in the same period last year, with cold rolled imports rising the most year-on-year, by 87%.

The June-to-July rise was mainly due to higher hot rolled imports, which rose by about 40% month-on-month and by about 65% compared to July, 2013. Comparing June, 2014 to July, 2014, hot rolled imports increased most significantly from Russia, but also from a number of other countries such as Japan, Italy, and Brazil.

I will update the chart below to show mid-August license data when the figures are published the week of August 17th.

SIMA US import licenses and actuals, flat products
October 2011 to July 2014

short tons
*October 2013 licenses are incomplete due to US government shutdown

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Crude steel production in China was 69.4 million metric tonnes in June, 7.2% higher than in June 2013 and 1.7% higher on an average daily basis compared to May 2014. China’s first-half 2014 crude production was 410 million tonnes, which is 4.8% higher than in the first half of 2013.

China’s net finished steel exports in June were 5.9 million tonnes, 41% higher than in June 2013 but a 13% drop from May 2014 net exports. Year-to-June 2014 net exports were also 41% higher than in the same period in 2013.

China Monthly Crude Steel Production June 2004 to June 20014
(thousand metric tonnes)

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Worldsteel published June’s global crude steel production on July 22nd. World crude steel production was 136.5 million metric tonnes, 4% higher than in July 2013. Production in the first half of 2014 was 3% higher than in the same period last year.

In June, China accounted for 51% of world production with output of 69.3 million tonnes, a 7% increase compared to June 2013. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korean production climbed 11% year-on-year and Indian production fell 2%. In the Americas over the same period, Brazilian production declined by 5% while Mexican production increased 12% and US production showed a 2% growth. Production in the European Union countries was up 1% June-to-June.

All the data for June 2014 and for a number of prior years can be viewed in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports fell 8% from 422,000 short tons in May to 387,000 tons in June. June imports were 18% higher than in June 2013, and in addition, 1st half 2014 imports were 38% higher than in the same period last year.

Imports of all product categories except merchant bar declined. Wire rod and parallel flange sections imports fell the most, with wire rod imports falling mainly from China (and despite a strong increase from Turkey) and parallel flange sections imports falling mainly from Russia.

Long products import licenses for July as reported July 15th were 107,000 tons, which is likely to mean that full-month July imports will be lower than June’s.

SIMA US long products import licenses and import actuals
2012 to 2014

short tons

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