Steel Products Prices North America

2015 Apparent Steel Supply Down 10% Over 2014

Written by Brett Linton

According to the latest data released from the US Department of Commerce and the American Iron and Steel Institute, apparent steel supply for the month of December 2015 was 7,878,660 net tons. Apparent steel supply is calculated by adding domestic steel shipments and finished US steel imports and subtracting total US steel exports.

December supply represents a 2,142,044 ton or 21.4 percent decrease compared to the same month one year ago when apparent steel supply was 10,020,704 tons. This is attributed to a 1,421,968 ton or 17.8 percent drop in domestic shipments and a decline in finished imports of 923,073 tons or 31.1 percent. A decrease in total exports of 202,997 tons or 21.9 percent negated the change. The net trade balance between imports and exports was a surplus of 1,616,863 tons in December 2015, 1,091,984 tons or 40.3 percent less than that of December 2014. Foreign steel imports accounted for 26.0 percent of apparent steel supply, down 3.7 percent over the same month one year ago.

SMU Note: Our Premium Level apparent steel supply analysis goes into more detail as we provide data on apparent steel supply for flat and long products. We published this analysis later this week.

When compared to last month when apparent steel supply was at 7,710,331 tons, December supply increased by 168,329 tons or 2.2 percent. This increase is attributed to a 98,472 ton or 1.5 percent increase in domestic shipments and a 83,413 ton or 4.2 percent rise in finished imports. An increase in total exports of 13,556 tons or 1.9 percent slightly negated the change.

The table below shows yearly totals for each statistic over the last five years. Note that these averages are calculated through the whole year. 2015 figures remain lower than 2014 data for all items listed. 2015 apparent steel supply was down 10.0 percent over 2014 levels and was more in line with 2012 and 2013 figures.

To see an interactive graphic of our Apparent Steel Supply History, visit the Apparent Steel Supply page in the Analysis section of the SMU website. If you need any assistance logging in or navigating the website, contact us at or 800-432-3475.

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