US steel import licenses in June reached 2.69 million mt, spiking 110% from the final import count in June of last year when the industry experienced disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to preliminary import license data released July 8 by the US Commerce Department.
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Import licenses in June also increased from the 2.29 million mt of steel reported in May's preliminary import count.
Based on the license data, carbon and alloy slab imports in June are expected to increase 30% to 602,515 mt, compared with May's data. Licenses for slab were mainly attributed to shipments from Brazil (273,204 mt) and Russia (157,637 mt).
Import licenses for other non-slab semis also rose month-on-month to 219,257 mt, up from 136,672 mt in May.
Compared with May imports, June licenses to import carbon and alloy sheet products increased for major categories such as cold-rolled coil and hot-rolled coil, up 26.7% to 142,241 mt and 16.3% to 244,438 mt, respectively. However, hot-dip galvanized sheet licenses fell 23.2% to 169,956 mt.
Canada is expected to be the largest exporter of steel to the US in June with the country's import licenses totaling 498,945 mt. Licenses for Canada slipped from imports totaling 548,812 mt in May's preliminary numbers but increased from 339,921 mt in June 2020.
The estimated steel import market share in the US was 21% in June and 19% year to date, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.