Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports fell 37% from 310,000 short tons in March to 196,000 tons in April. In comparison, April long products imports in 2012 were 329,000 tons, in 2011 241,000 tons, in 2010 273,000 tons, in 2009 97,000 tons, in 2008 440,000 tons, and in 2007 309,000 tons.
After a large rise in March, rebar imports in April fell by almost 80%, driving the overall fall in long products imports. This was mainly due to lower rebar imports from Turkey but also from Mexico, the same countries which drove the rise in March. Lower wire rod imports in April, however, counteracted rebar’s rise in the long products imports total.
I will update the spreadsheet below to show mid-May licenses when the licenses are updated next week.
Based on reported import licenses, US flat products imports rose 4% from 652,000 short tons in March to 681,000 tons in April. April flat products imports in 2012 were 914,000 tons, in 2011 690,000 tons, in 2010 558,000 tons, and in 2009 433,000 tons.
Driving the increase was a 63,000-ton rise in Cut Plate imports due to higher volumes mainly from Germany and France, but also from Brazil and Turkey. However, the rise in cut plate imports was partially counteracted by a 42,000-ton drop in hot dip galvanized imports, in this case a result of lower tonnage from Canada and China.
I will update the spreadsheet below to show mid-May licenses when the licenses are updated the week of May 20th.
China crude steel production was 66.3 million metric tonnes in March, 8% higher than in March 2012. Year-to-date production was 191.7 million tonnes, 10% higher than year-to-March production in 2012.
Comparing consecutive months, March production was 4.5 million tonnes higher than February production, but due to the shorter February month, average daily production in March was 3% lower than in February. In addition, China’s net finished steel exports in March were 4.1 million tonnes, 8% higher than in March 2012 and 21% higher than in February 2013.
Worldsteel published March’s global crude steel production on April 22nd. World crude steel production was 134.9 million metric tonnes, 1.7% higher than in March 2012 and the highest monthly output ever reported. (N.B. On a daily basis output was 4.35MT slightly off the February 2013 record of 4.4MT).
Compared to March 2012, Chinese production increased by 8% and Indian production by 10%. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s production grew 1% from March last year but S. Korea’s fell by 7% and Taiwan’s by 5%. In the Americas, US and Brazil production both fell 8% and in the European Union 27 countries, output dropped 7%.
As usual, all the data for March 2013 (and plenty of prior years) are ready to be analyzed in the Nerds spreadsheet below.
After a downward revision in October 2012, worldsteel made a further revision downward for world apparent steel use in 2013. The revision this time was from 3.2% growth in October’s Short Range Outlook to 2.9% growth in the latest April 2013 version published last week. World apparent steel use is, however, expected to grow the full 3.2% now between 2013 and 2014, reaching 1,500MT in 2014.
worldsteel’s current estimate is that China’s apparent steel use will grow by 3.6% in 2013 instead of by 3.1% in its October estimate. This growth rate is expected to slow to 2.5% in 2014. In contrast, the 2013 growth forecast for the Developed Economies was revised downward by 1.6%. Of particular note, the European Union forecast was revised downward by 3.2% for 2013.
See the spreadsheet below for a better look at the numbers published in the April Short Range Outlook together with regional apparent steel use over the last few years.
Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports rose 28% from 211,000 short tons in February to 270,000 tons in March. In comparison, March long products imports in 2012 were 278,000 tons, in 2011 239,000 tons, in 2010 232,000 tons, in 2009 168,000 tons, and in 2008 314,000 tons.
Higher rebar imports drove the overall rise with increased volumes from Mexico and Turkey. Imports of all other structural shapes, light shapes, and parallel flange sections also rose.
Mid-month April long products import licenses as reported April 16th were 111,000 tons which is likely to mean that full-month April licenses will be lower than March’s.
Based on reported import licenses, US flat products imports rose 1% from 674,000 short tons in February to 683,000 tons in March. March flat products imports in 2012 were 660,000 tons, in 2011 621,000 tons, in 2010 640,000 tons, and in 2009 488,000 tons.
A rise of about 15% in hot roll and hot dip galvanized imports counteracted a 36% fall in cut plate imports and a 19% fall in cold rolled imports. An important part of the rise in hot roll imports came from Japan while cut plate imports fell significantly from Germany and France.
I will update the spreadsheet below to show mid-April licenses as soon as the next licenses are reported this week.
China crude steel production was 61.8 million metric tonnes in February, 11% higher than in February 2012. Comparing consecutive months, February production was 1.8 million tonnes lower than January production, most likely due to the Chinese New Year holidays. Chinese net finished steel exports in February were 3.3 million tonnes, 54% higher than in February 2012 but 13% lower than in January 2013.