How Impressive Is the Fall in Last Month’s Steel Imports?



Steel imports

As we saw in the previous part of this series, last month’s steel imports fell to their lowest level since February. We’ll break down the steel imports data for May and see which product categories saw major changes in imports that month.

Flat rolled products

Looking at flat rolled steel products, HRC (hot rolled coil), CRC (cold rolled coil), and galvanized steel imports fell month-over-month in May. Imports of galvanized steel products saw a sharp fall of 27% compared to April. However, while CRC and galvanized steel imports fell YoY (year-over-year), May HRC imports were higher YoY. AK Steel (AKS) has a significant share of CRC and galvanized steel in its product mix.

This year, HRC prices have seen some of the biggest gains. Nucor (NUE) has a significant share of HRC in its flat rolled product mix.

Long products

Rebars (or reinforcing bar) imports fell month-over-month in May. However, imports rose sharply YoY. Recently, Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted that the fall in Turkish currency could lift US rebar imports. It also downgraded Commercial Metals (CMC).

OCTG (oil country tubular goods) imports fell YoY as well as month-over-month in May. U.S. Steel Corporation’s (X) Tubular segment produces OCTG products.

Next, let’s see how US steel demand looks this year.

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