NEW YORK U.S. imports of
oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from South Korea will likely
remain high as some mills ship more material ahead of a
possible trade case.
"Theyre going to bring
more in February; theyre going to bring more in March.
Theyll bring it here and start selling from here," one
trader said, noting that Januarys import license
applications for OCTG from Korea97,817 tonnes, according
to the U.S. Commerce Departments Import
Administrationwere the highest in more than a year
despite no noticeable pickup in demand.
"Nothing happened in January, I
guarantee you. Its all speculation," he said.
Sources told AMM in
January that some Korean mills had acknowledged they were on
high alert for a trade case (
amm.com, Jan. 16).
A second trader expressed
surprise at the rising imports when talk of a trade complaint
is rife. "Either they dont give a damn or theyve
concluded that the dumping suit is going to be filed anyway and
they might as well flood the market," he said.
License applications for imports
of Korean OCTG in the first eight days of February totaled
39,516 tonnes at an average value of $938 per tonne, down 3.4
percent from $971 per tonne in January, Commerce figures
"I really feel that if there
isnt a dumping case, theres going to be a world of
hurt," a third trader said.
The rising imports from Korea
come as the number of drill rigs operating in the United States
declined by five last week to 1,759, according to Houston-based
oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc., which sources
attributed to a lull in exploration activity as the market
repositions itself to drill for oil rather than low-priced
"Theres a lot of movement
between leases, (a) lot of movement between locations," the
first trader said. "The rigs are doing some verticals just so
they can carry on their lease rather than actually do(ing)