Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports remained essentially flat between August and September, falling 1% from 378,000 short tons in August to 374,000 tons in September. September 2014 imports were 4% higher than in September 2014 and January-to-September 2014 imports were 19% higher than in the same period last year.

Compared to August, rebar imports in September fell by about 30% due to lower volumes mainly from Turkey and Spain, and despite higher imports from a number of other countries including Peru and Portugal. In contrast, wire rod imports rose by about 30%.

I will update the chart below to show mid-October license data when the figures are published the week of October 20th.

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 products imports rose 21% from 1,147,000 short tons in August to 1,390,000 tons in September, returning to July import levels after August’s decline. Flat products imports in September 2013 were 816,000 tons and in September 2012 they were 725,000 tons. Flats imports in the first 3 quarters of 2014 were 62% higher than in the same period of 2013.

Imports of all flat products categories rose between August and September. However, cold rolled and hot rolled imports contributed 70% to the month-on-month climb. Cold rolled imports rose by almost 50% mainly due to higher volumes from China. Hot rolled imports rose by almost 15% with imports rising from a number of countries such as Russia and the Netherlands.

I will update the chart below to show mid-October license data when the figures are published the week of October 20th.

SIMA US imports licenses and actuals, flat products
October 2011 to September 2014

short tons

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Crude steel production in China was 68.9 million metric tonnes in August, 4.0% higher than in August 2013 but 0.9% higher on an average daily basis compared to July 2014. January-to-August crude production for 2014 was 5.0% higher than in the same period last year.

China’s net finished steel exports in August were about 6.6 million tonnes, 34% higher than in August 2013 but 4% lower than in July 2014. Year-to-August net finished steel exports were 44% higher than in the year-to-August 2013.

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

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Worldsteel published August’s global crude steel production on September 22nd. World crude steel production was 135.0 million metric tonnes, 3% higher than in August 2013. Production for the months of January to August 2014 were 4% higher than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 51% of world crude production in August with output of 68.9 million tonnes, 4% higher than in August last year and an increase of 2.6 million tonnes. Also in Asia and compared to August last year, South Korean output rose 8% and Indian output rose 5%. In the CIS region, Russian production increased 5% between August 2013 and August 2014 while Ukrainian production fell 37%. Turkish production rose 14% over the same period. And finally, US and European Union crude output rose 3% and 1% respectively.

All the data for August 2014 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 last month’s fall of about 20%, US long products imports rose 31% from 314,000 short tons in July to 411,000 tons in August. August 2014 imports were 45% higher than in August 2013, and in addition, January-to-August 2014 imports were 22% higher than in the same period last year.

The rise between July and August 2014 was mainly due to higher rebar imports from Turkey. Wire rod imports also rose significantly from Turkey and Egypt while parallel flange sections imports fell on lower tons arriving mainly from Russia and Spain.

Long products import licenses for September as reported September 16th were 223,000 tons, which is likely to mean that full-month September licenses with be lower than August’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 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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