Steel Products Prices North America

September Apparent Steel Supply Up 13% Over Last Year

Written by Brett Linton

Apparent steel supply for the month of September totaled 9,144,648 net tons, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the American Iron and Steel Institute. Apparent steel supply is calculated by adding domestic steel shipments and finished U.S. steel imports, then subtracting total U.S. steel exports.

September apparent steel supply saw a 1,037,894 ton or 12.8 percent increase compared to the same month one year ago. The majority of this change came from an increase in domestic shipments, increasing 790,313 tons or 11.7 percent. Finished imports also increased, up 355,652 tons or 16.7 percent from 12 months prior. Total exports lessened the overall increase in apparent steel supply as they rose by 108,070 tons or 13.6 percent.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,182,807 tons imported in September, down from 2,676,012 tons last month, but up from 1,980,247 tons one year ago. Foreign steel imports accounted for 27.2 percent of apparent steel supply in September, up 0.9 percent over the same month one year ago.

Compared to last month, when apparent steel supply was 9,475,527 tons, September supply decreased by 330,879 tons or 3.5 percent. This was primarily due to a decrease in domestic imports, which fell 369,170 tons or 4.7 percent. Finished imports rose 24,163 tons or 1.0 percent, and total exports declined 14,128 tons or 1.5 percent, both slightly negating the overall decrease in apparent steel supply.

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 nine months of each year for an equal comparison. As was the case in previous months, the 2017 data points are higher than the 2016 figures, but are mixed compared to 2013-2015 data for all items listed.

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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