Steel Products Prices North America

January Apparent Steel Supply at 9.2 Million tons

Written by Brett Linton

Apparent steel supply for the month of January 2018 rose month-over-month but fell year-over-year to 9,158,850 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.

Compared to December, when apparent steel supply was 8,501,642 tons, January supply rose by 657,209 tons or 7.7 percent. This was due to an increase in finished imports and domestic shipments, up 22.2 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Total exports rose 79,206 tons or 10.5 percent, slightly negating the overall increase in apparent steel supply.

January apparent steel supply was down 77,442 tons or 0.8 percent compared to the same month one year ago. This change was primarily due to a decline in domestic shipments, down 72,095 tons or 0.9 percent. Finished imports remained relatively steady between the periods, up 7,406 tons 0.3 percent. A slight increase in exports lessened the overall decrease in apparent steel supply as they rose by 12,754 tons or 1.6 percent.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,047,892 tons imported in January, up from 1,698,309 tons from the prior month, and up from 1,995,803 tons one year ago. Foreign steel imports accounted for 25.7 percent of apparent steel supply in January, up from 22.6 percent last month, and up from 25.4 percent one year ago.

Apparent steel supply for 2017 averaged 9,171,331 tons, up from 8,642,135 tons in 2016, and up from 9,014,074 tons in 2015.

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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