Steel Products Prices North America

October Apparent Steel Supply Up 12% Over Last Year

Written by Brett Linton

Apparent steel supply for the month of October totaled 9,355,621 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.

October apparent steel supply saw a 1,017,259 ton or 12.2 percent increase compared to the same month one year ago. The majority of this change came from an increase in domestic shipments, increasing 877,976 tons or 12.8 percent. Finished imports also increased, up 269,288 tons or 11.9 percent from 12 months prior. Total exports lessened the overall increase in apparent steel supply as they rose by 130,004 tons or 17.0 percent.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,252,363 tons imported in October, up from 2,182,807 tons last month, and up from 1,947,314 tons one year ago. Foreign steel imports accounted for 27.2 percent of apparent steel supply in October, unchanged compared to the same month one year ago.

Compared to last month, when apparent steel supply was 9,144,648 tons, October supply increased by 210,973 tons or 2.35 percent. This was primarily due to an increase in domestic shipments, which rose 151,152 tons or 2.0 percent. The remainder was made up by an increase in finished imports of 53,312 tons or 2.1 percent, and a decline in total exports of 7,509 tons or 0.8 percent.

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 (example below), 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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