Steel Products Prices North America

2016 Apparent Steel Supply Down 4.2 Percent Over 2015

Written by Brett Linton

According to the latest data released from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the American Iron and Steel Institute, apparent steel supply for the month of December 2016 was 8,622,171 net tons. Apparent steel supply is calculated by adding domestic steel shipments and finished US steel imports, then subtracting total US steel exports.

December apparent steel supply represents a 743,511 ton or 9.4 percent increase compared to the same month one year ago when apparent steel supply was 7,878,660 tons. The majority of this change came from an increase in domestic shipments, which were up 9.4 percent or 616,903 tons. Finished imports also increased month over month, by 6.2 percent or 127,736 tons. Total exports rose 0.2 percent or 1,128 tons, slightly negating the rise in apparent steel supply.

The net trade balance between US steel imports and exports was a surplus of +1,971,403 tons imported in December 2016, 21.9 percent higher than that of December 2015. Foreign steel imports accounted for 25.2 percent of apparent steel supply, down 0.8 percent over the same month one year ago.

When compared to last month, when apparent steel supply was 8,144,758 tons, December supply increased by 5.9 percent or 477,413 tons. This is attributed to a 6.7 percent or 448,968 ton rise in domestic shipments. Finished imports increased 1.2 percent or 25,901 tons, and total exports declined 0.3 percent or 2,544 tons over last month.

The table below shows annual totals for each statistic over the last five years. 2016 figures remain lower than most of the previous years for all items listed. Comparing 2015 and 2016 apparent steel supply, this year was down 4.2 percent or 381,938 tons over last. Domestic shipments were nearly flat, only 11,110 tons lower than the previous year. Finished imports in 2016 were down 16.2 percent or 425,882 tons over 2015 totals, and total exports were down 6.6 percent or 55,053 tons.

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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