Steel Products Prices North America

April Apparent Steel Supply Remains Strong

Written by Brett Linton

April apparent steel supply fell 1.1 percent over March to 9,829,298 net tons, according to the data released late last week. Although down this month, supply remains strong in comparison to the last three years or so. Apparent steel supply is calculated by adding domestic steel shipments and finished U.S. steel imports, then subtracting total U.S. steel exports.

April apparent steel supply saw a 697,230 ton or 7.6 percent increase compared to the same month one year ago. This change was primarily due to an increase in domestic shipments of 370,246 tons or 5.0 percent and a rise in finished imports of 330,406 tons or 12.9 percent. A 3,423 ton or 0.4 percent increase in exports slightly lessened the overall rise in apparent steel supply.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,892,983 tons imported in April, up from 2,463,812 tons the prior month, and up from 2,493,401 tons one year ago. Foreign steel imports accounted for 29.4 percent of apparent steel supply in April, up from 25.2 percent last month and up from 28.1 percent one year ago.

Compared to the prior month when apparent steel supply was 9,935,479 tons, April supply fell by 106,181 tons or 1.1 percent. This was due to a decrease in domestic shipments of 501,092 tons or 6.0 percent, and an increase in finished imports of 387,062 tons or 15.5 percent. Total exports fell 7,850 tons or 0.9 percent.

The table below shows year-to-date totals for each statistic over the last five years. 2018 data remains steady to higher compared to the previous two years, and flat to down over 2014 and 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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