The volume of foreign steel licensed for delivery to the United States increased both year on year and month on month in June, driven by significant gains in semi-finished products as well as stainless steel.
Overall US steel imports rose to 2.45 million tonnes last month, according to license data from the US Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, up by 8.5% from 2.26 million tonnes in June 2018.
Blooms, billets and slabs recorded the largest increases in June, climbing by 41.5% to 787,937 tonnes from 556,816 tonnes one year earlier. Brazil, Mexico and Russia were the top suppliers to the US last month, sending 444,942 tonnes, 149,338 tonnes and 89,465 tonnes respectively. On a sequential basis, US imports of blooms, billets and slabs shot up by 608,491 tonnes from May’s total of 179,446 tonnes.
Imports of oil country goods stood at 186,874 tonnes in June, up by 3.3% from 180,982 tonnes in June 2018 but down by 5% from 196,727 tonnes in May 2019.
Fastmarkets’ pricing assessment for US domestic J55 casing tumbled to $1,000-1,100 per ton fob mill on June 25, down from the previous range of $1,125-1,150 per ton on May 28.
Stainless steel import licenses totaled 103,398 tonnes last month, up by 36.7% from 75,656 tonnes in June 2018 and 45.2% above May’s 71,191 tonnes.
Meanwhile, shipments of hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip, line pipe, hot- and cold-rolled coil, coiled plate, wire rod and hot-rolled bar all decreased on a year-on-year basis in June.
Hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip saw the steepest decline, falling by 35.1% - or 87,386 tonnes - year on year to 161,864 tonnes in June. That was followed by hot-rolled coil, which dropped by 19.1% - or 29.124 tonnes - to 123,436 tonnes in the same comparison.
Fastmarkets assessed the domestic hot-dipped galvanized steel base price at $35.50 per cwt ($710 per ton) and the all-in price for galvanized coil with a G90 coating at $40.25 per cwt ($805 per ton) on June 27, down from $38 per cwt and $42.75 per cwt respectively one month earlier.
Fastmarkets’ daily Midwest hot-rolled coil index was calculated at $26.64 per cwt ($532.80 per short ton) on Wednesday July 3. The index stood at $26.19 per cwt on Friday June 28, down from $29.33 per cwt on May 31.