Worldsteel reported Chinese crude steel production at 68.9 million metric tonnes in June, 0.8%% lower than in June 2014. Chinese crude output in the first 6 months of 2015 was 1.0% lower than in the same period last year.

China’s net finished steel exports (exports minus imports) in June were 7.7 million tonnes, 30% higher than in June 2014. Net exports for the first 6 months of 2015 were 36% higher than in the first six months of 2014.

China monthly crude steel production
January 2005 to June 2015

thousand metric tonnes

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Worldsteel published June’s world crude steel production today. World crude steel production was 135.6 million metric tonnes, 2.4% lower than in June 2014. World output for the first 6 months of 2015 was 1.9% lower than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 51% of world production in June with output of 68.9 million tonnes, down 0.8% compared to June 2014. There were significant production declines elsewhere in Asia, including a 6.2% drop in Japan, a 25.5% fall in Taiwan, and 3.5% reduction in South Korea. While the European Union countries in total showed a production increase of 1.7%, German output was up 5.8% compared to June last year and Italian production fell 11.4%. Other notable changes between June 2014 and June 2015 include a 7.5% drop in Russia, a 21.8% fall in the Ukraine, and an 8.5% decline in the US.

All the data for June 2015 and for a number of prior years can be found in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses and after a fall of about 30% in May, US long products imports were basically flat in June, falling 1% from May’s 362,000 short tons to 357,000 tons. Long products imports in June 2014 were 381,000 tons and in June 2013 they were 287,000 tons. Long products imports for the first 6 months of 2015 were 8% higher than in the same period last year.

June’s imports showed little change as a total of all long products because a fall in rebar imports offset a rise in imports of wire rod and other products. Rebar imports fell mainly from Japan and Korea while wire rod imports rose mainly from Japan.

I will update the chart below to show mid-July licenses when the figures are published this week.

SIMA US long products import licenses and import actuals
2012 to 2015

short tons

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Based on reported import licenses, US flat products imports fell 8% from 1,160,000 short tons in May to 1,061,000 tons in June. Flat products imports in June 2014 were 1,160,000 tons and in June 2013 they were 607,000 tons. Imports of flat products for the first 6 months of 2015 were 18% higher than in the same period last year, with cut plate imports up 23%, hot roll up by 17%, cold roll up by 13%, and hot dip galvanized up by 21%.

The fall in flat products imports between May and June was mainly due to lower hot dip galvanized imports and cold roll imports. Hot dip volumes fell mainly from China but also from Italy and despite a rise from India. Cold rolled imports fell significantly from China and Russia.

I will update the chart below to show mid-July licenses when the figures are published the week of July 13th.

SIMA US import licenses and actuals, flat products
June 2012 to June 2015

short tons

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Worldsteel reported Chinese crude steel production at 69.95 million metric tonnes in May, 1.7% lower than in May 2014. Chinese crude output in the first five months of 2015 was 1.0% lower than in the same period last year.

China’s net finished steel exports (exports minus imports) in May were about 8.1 million tonnes, 18% higher than in May 2014. Net exports for the first five months of 2015 were 37% higher than in January-to-May 2014.

China monthly crude steel production
January 2012 to May 2015

thousand metric tonnes

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Worldsteel published May’s world crude steel production on June 22nd. World crude steel production was 139.3 million metric tonnes, 2.1% lower than in May 2014. World output for the first five months of 2015 was 1.7% lower than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 50% of world production in May with output of 69.95M tonnes, down 1.7% compared to May 2014. Elsewhere in Asia, Japanese production declined 7.0%, South Korean output dropped 2.6%, but Indian output rose 4.0%. Outside of Asia, European Union production grew 0.7% between May 2014 and May 2015, despite a 5.4% fall in Germany and a 12.6% drop in Italy. Significant declines were also shown in the US, where production fell 8.5%, and in the Ukraine, where production was down 23.0%.

All the data for May 2015 and for a number of prior years can be found in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports dropped 33% from 516,000 short tons in April to 346,000 tons in May. Long products imports in May 2014 were 422,000 tons and in May 2013 they were 448,000 tons. Long products imports for the first five months of 2015 were 10% higher than in the same period last year.

The decline in imports in May was driven by rebar and parallel flange sections. Rebar imports fell mainly from Turkey and parallel flange sections imports declined from a number of countries including South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Long products licenses for June as reported mid-month on June 16th were 225,000 tons which is likely to mean that full-month June longs imports will not be that different from May’s.

SIMA US long products import licenses and import actuals
2012 to 2015

short tons

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Based on reported import licenses, US flat products imports rose 8% from 1,088,000 short tons in April to 1,175,000 tons in May. Flat products imports in May 2014 were 1,087,000 tons and in May 2013 they were 623,000 tons. Imports of flat products for the first 5 months of 2015 were 25% higher than in the same period last year, with cut plate imports up by 39%, hot roll up by 20%, cold roll up by 25%, and hot dip galvanized up by 25%.

The increase in flat products imports in May compared to April was driven mainly by higher hot roll and hot dip galvanized imports (and despite a fall in cold rolled imports by about 15%). Hot roll imports rose mainly from South Korea and hot dip galvanized imports increased mostly from China but also from Italy and Taiwan.

I will update the chart below to show mid-June licenses when the figures are published the week of June 15th.

SIMA US import licenses and actuals, flat products
May 2012 to May 2015

short tons

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