Chinese rod hits shores but avoids import data

Jan 11, 2013 | 04:50 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  wire rod, import monitor, Commerce Department, Import Administration, steel imports, Chinese hot-rolled bars, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Large volumes of foreign wire rod have hit U.S. shores in recent months, but those shipments might not have been classified correctly in the Commerce Department’s import statistics, market sources said, skewing crucial data used by the steel industry and perhaps making a possible trade case against such imports more challenging.

In late spring and early summer 2012, sources in the wire rod market said they expected shipments as high as 100,000 tons to arrive from China in the fourth quarter due to a widening price spread between domestic and imported material (, Sept. 20).

Multiple sources contacted by AMM confirmed they had received Chinese wire rod shipments in November, while a number of trading sources said they facilitated large-tonnage deliveries in the fourth quarter.

"My steel hit the port in November and I received it in early December," one buyer of Chinese rod said.

However, steel import data distributed by Commerce’s Import Administration division shows no record of this material in the wire rod category. According to the government data, only 16.3 tonnes of Chinese rod arrived at U.S. ports in September, with no material arriving in October and November and just 4,950 tonnes hitting shores in December.....

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