Steel Products Prices North America

January Apparent Steel Supply Rises to 9.5 Million Tons

Written by Brett Linton

Apparent U.S. steel supply jumped to 9.5 million net tons in January, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute and U.S. Department of Commerce. January apparent supply is now on the high-side compared to the last few years, a nice recovery from November’s three-year low and other late-2019 lows. 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.

January apparent supply is 372,000 tons (3.8 percent) lower than the same month one year ago. This change was due to an 817,000 ton decrease in finished imports, partially negated by a 456,000 ton increase in domestic shipments.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 2,491,000 tons imported in January, up 139.9 percent from the prior month, but down 12.4 percent from one year ago. Finished steel imports accounted for 17.2 percent of apparent steel supply in January, up from 15.3 percent in December, but down from 24.8 percent one year ago.

Compared to the prior month when apparent steel supply was 8.8 million tons, January supply increased 691,000 tons or 7.8 percent. The increase was due to a 515,000 ton rise in domestic shipments and a 289,000-ton increase in imports, slightly reduced by a 112,000 ton rise in exports.

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

Read more from Brett Linton

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America