Steel Products Prices North America

July Apparent Steel Supply at 9.4 Million Tons

Written by Brett Linton

July apparent steel supply was calculated at 9,351,701 net tons, according to data recently released by the American Iron and Steel Institute and U.S. Department of Commerce. Apparent steel supply, a proxy for demand, is determined by adding domestic steel shipments and finished U.S. steel imports, then subtracting total U.S. steel exports.

July apparent steel supply saw a 99,929 ton or 1.1 percent decrease compared to the same month one year ago. This change was primarily due to a decrease in finished imports of 339,143 tons or 15.4 percent. An increase in domestic shipments of 203,875 tons or 2.6 percent and a decline in exports of 35,339 tons or 5.4 percent lessened the overall year-over-year decrease in apparent steel supply.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,408,699 tons imported in July, up 968,460 tons or 67.2 percent from the prior month, and up 77,071 tons or 3.3 percent from one year ago. This was due to the surge of semifinished products imported in July. Finished steel imports accounted for 19.9 percent of apparent steel supply in July, up from 19.6 percent in June, but down from 23.2 percent one year ago.

Compared to the prior month when apparent steel supply was 8,855,976 tons, July supply rose by 495,725 tons or 5.6 percent. This was due to an increase in domestic shipments of 396,604 tons or 5.1 percent and an increase in finished imports of 120,996 tons or 7.0 percent. A decrease in total exports of 21,875 tons or 3.7 percent lessened the overall increase in apparent steel supply.

The figure below shows year-to-date totals for each statistic over the last five years. Apparent steel supply remains on the high side this year compared to previous years, as do domestic shipments and semifinished imports. Total imports are mixed for 2019, while finished imports are marginally down and exports are down significantly.

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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