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Based on reported import licenses, US long steel products imports fell 18% from 429,000 short tons in July to 351,000 tons in August. Long products imports for the first eight months of 2017 were 4% lower than in the same period last year, driven by a 22% drop in rebar imports.

The decline in imports between July and August was mainly due to lower wire rod imports from a number of countries including Germany, Ukraine, and Russia, together with lower rebar imports from Portugal, Spain, and Taiwan.

SIMA US long products imports licenses and actuals
2012 to 2017

short tons


Photo by AlfvanBeem (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

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A smart 4:28 video from Marcel Timmer at the University of Groningen about how globalization has been interrupted by a global trade growth slowdown and the reasons behind it.

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Based on reported import licenses, US flat steel products imports fell 11% from 1,044,000 short tons in July to 935,000 tons in August. Flat products imports for the first eight months of 2017 were flat compared to the same period last year. However, comparing the first eight months of 2016 to 2017 by product, cut plate imports fell 41%, hot roll imports were down 19%, cold roll imports rose 28%, and hot dip galvanized imports increased 25%.

The decline in imports between July and August was mainly due to lower hot roll imports from Turkey, Japan, Egypt and Italy.

SIMA US flat products import licenses and actuals
January 2013 to August 2017
short tons


Photo by Methem (Mikko J. Putkonen) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Worldsteel published July’s world crude steel production on August 24th. World crude steel output was 143.2 million metric tonnes, 6.3% higher than in July 2016. World production for the first seven months of 2017 was 4.6% higher than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 52% of world output in July with production of 74.0 million tonnes, 10.3% higher than in July 2016. Also in Asia, Indian output rose 3.5%, Vietnam production was up 54.8%, but Japanese output fell 4.3%. European Union production rose by 3.9% compared to last July, and further to the East, Turkish output rose 27.8%. In the CIS, Russian output fell 8.0% and Ukrainian output dropped 12.9%, while in the Americas, US output climbed 5.6% compared to the July last year.

All the data for July 2017 and for a number of prior years can be found in the Nerds spreadsheet below.


Photo by kees torn (CSCL GLOBE) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Worldsteel reported Chinese crude steel production at 74.0 million metric tonnes in July, 10.3% higher than in July 2016. Chinese crude output for the first seven months of 2017 was 5.1% higher than in the same period last year.

Chinese net finished steel exports (exports minus imports) in July were 6.0 million tonnes, 34.8% lower than in July 2016. Chinese net finished steel exports over the first seven months of 2017 were 33.0% lower than in the first seven months of 2016.

China monthly crude steel production
January 2006 to July 2017, thousand metric tonnes

Photo by Anne Isabelle Sigros (photo de chantier) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Based on reported import licenses, US long steel products imports fell 30% from 539,000 short tons in June to 376,000 tons in July. Long products imports for the first seven months of 2017 were 2% lower than in the same period last year, driven by a 19% decline in rebar imports but offset by a 14% increase in wire rod imports.

The decline in imports between June and July was mainly due to lower rebar imports from Turkey and Portugal.

SIMA US long products import licenses and actuals
2012 to 2017

short tons


Photo by Bernard S. Jansen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

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