Steel Products Prices North America

February Apparent Steel Supply Down 7.8 Percent YOY

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 February 2016 was 8,269,164 net tons. Apparent steel supply is calculated by adding domestic steel shipments and finished US steel imports and subtracting total US steel exports.

February apparent steel supply represents a 699,667 ton or 7.8 percent decrease compared to the same month one year ago when apparent steel supply was 8,968,831 tons. This is primarily attributed to a 813,163 ton or 27.8 percent decline in finished US steel imports, while a decrease in total US steel exports of 99,650 tons or 11.3 percent negated the change.

The net trade balance between US steel imports and exports was a surplus of +1,497,240 tons imported in February 2016, 1,335,641 tons or 47.1 percent less than that of February 2015. Foreign steel imports accounted for 25.5 percent of apparent steel supply, down 7.1 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 plan to publish this analysis later this week.

When compared to last month when apparent steel supply was at 8,486,614 tons, February supply decreased by 217,450 tons or 2.6 percent. This increase is attributed to a 91,865 ton or 1.3 percent decrease in domestic shipments and a 128,747 ton or 5.8 percent decline in finished imports. A minor decrease in total exports of 3,161 tons or 0.4 percent slightly negated the change.

The table below shows year to date totals for each statistic over the last five years. Note that these averages are calculated through the first two months of the year. 2016 figures so far are lower than most of the previous years for all items listed, except for the percentage of finished imports in apparent supply.

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.

Brett Linton

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