May Data Comparison: Preliminary Census and License Data (in metric tons)

Product May 2020 Preliminary
Census Data
May 2020 License Data May 2020
Census - License
Percent Difference:
Census relative
to License
All Products 1,625,364 2,024,646 -399,282 ( 25%)
Bars-Cold Finished -- C & A 6,249 6,887 -638 ( 10%)
Bars-Cold Finished -- S 4,141 4,768 -627 ( 15%)
Bars-Hot rolled -- C & A 58,853 63,407 -4,554 ( 8%)
Bars-Hot rolled -- S 2,252 2,233 19 1%
Bars-Light Shaped -- C & A 7,427 7,843 -416 ( 6%)
Bars-Light Shaped -- S 176 189 -13 ( 7%)
Bars-Reinforcing -- C & A 114,538 122,598 -8,061 ( 7%)
Black Plate -- C & A 4,612 12,893 -8,281 ( 180%)
Blooms, Billets and Slabs -- C & A 269,351 582,078 -312,727 ( 116%)
Blooms, Billets and Slabs -- S 7,333 23,838 -16,505 ( 225%)
Ingots and Steel for Castings -- C & A 461 523 -62 ( 13%)
Ingots and Steel for Castings -- S 453 661 -208 ( 46%)
Line Pipe -- C & A 58,820 68,923 -10,103 ( 17%)
Line Pipe -- S 512 702 -190 ( 37%)
Mechanical Tubing -- C & A 37,893 38,364 -471 ( 1%)
Oil Country Goods -- C & A 142,068 163,982 -21,913 ( 15%)
Oil Country Goods -- S 2,248 2,384 -136 ( 6%)
Pipe & Tubing Nonclassified -- C & A 1,646 1,609 37 2%
Pipe For Piling -- C & A 217 220 -3 ( 1%)
Plates Cut Lengths -- C & A 31,483 36,335 -4,851 ( 15%)
Plates Cut Lengths -- S 2,989 3,581 -592 ( 20%)
Plates in Coils -- C & A 56,132 57,869 -1,737 ( 3%)
Plates in Coils -- S 1,023 1,032 -9 ( 1%)
Pressure Tubing -- C & A 2,656 2,923 -268 ( 10%)
Railroad Accessories -- C & A 1,188 783 404 34%
Rails All Other -- C & A 1,325 1,045 280 21%
Rails Standard -- C & A 7,088 8,194 -1,105 ( 16%)
Sheets & Strip All Other Metallic Coat - 61,193 58,592 2,601 4%
Sheets & Strip Galv Electrolyt -- C & A 4,010 9,143 -5,133 ( 128%)
Sheets & Strip Galv Hot Dipped -- C & A 124,112 127,270 -3,158 ( 3%)
Sheets & Strip-Electrical -- C & A 4,102 4,086 17 0%
Sheets Cold Rolled -- C & A 111,137 117,210 -6,073 ( 5%)
Sheets Cold Rolled -- S 11,192 11,842 -651 ( 6%)
Sheets Hot Rolled -- C & A 109,844 117,172 -7,328 ( 7%)
Sheets Hot Rolled -- S 408 321 87 21%
Stainless Pipe & Tubing -- S 6,319 6,325 -6 ( 0%)
Standard Pipe -- C & A 61,480 58,165 3,315 5%
Steel Piling -- C & A 5,556 5,522 34 1%
Strip-Cold Rolled -- C & A 6,034 6,226 -192 ( 3%)
Strip-Cold Rolled -- S 2,503 2,401 101 4%
Strip-Hot Rolled -- C & A 6,646 6,633 13 0%
Strip-Hot Rolled -- S 27 24 3 11%
Structural Pipe & Tube -- C & A 27,308 25,598 1,710 6%
Structural Pipe & Tube -- S 36 37 -1 ( 3%)
Structural Shapes Heavy -- C & A 45,316 33,186 12,130 27%
Structural Shapes Heavy -- S 24 21 3 11%
Tin Free Steel -- C & A 28,561 26,642 1,919 7%
Tin Plate -- C & A 68,976 65,770 3,206 5%
Tool Steel -- C & A 8,212 9,195 -983 ( 12%)
Wire Drawn -- C & A 44,381 45,632 -1,251 ( 3%)
Wire Drawn -- S 1,681 1,690 -9 ( 1%)
Wire Rods -- C & A 60,279 67,107 -6,828 ( 11%)
Wire Rods -- S 2,894 2,973 -79 ( 3%)

SOURCE: US Department of Commerce, Enforcement and Compliance
The purpose of the Steel Import Licensing System (SIMA) is to provide the public with timely, detailed statistics on steel imports.
There are some differences between SIMA data and the Census data mostly due to import date issues.
Census uses 'statistical months', which are based on the 'date of release' of the import.
Thus, if goods arrive too late in the processing cycle, they are placed in the next month’s set of data.
SIMA month of data, however, represents an aggregation of all submitted licenses that report that month as the expected month of Import.
Additionally, SIMA data are not put through the same rigorous statistical tests and scrubbing as the Census data.
Table last modified on: June 30, 2020