Steel Products Prices North America

U.S. Steel Exports at a 24-Year Low in May

Written by Brett Linton

U.S. steel exports in May slipped 13 percent past April’s low to their lowest level in more than 24 years as the coronavirus took a toll on economies all over the world. At 353,000 tons, May exports were down 44 percent from levels one year prior, according to recent U.S. Department of Commerce data.

The 2020 monthly average for exports is now 542,000 tons, whereas the first five months of 2019 averaged 612,000 tons. The 2019 monthly average was 616,000 tons.

Exports of hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and other metallic coated products are at the lowest levels Steel Market Update has seen in its limited 10-year history.

Total May exports were below the three-month moving average (average of March through May 2020), and also below the 12-month moving average (average of June 2019 through May 2020). Here is a breakdown by product:

Cut plate exports decreased 4 percent from April to 71,990 tons, and were down 5 percent compared to one year ago. The last time cut plate exports were this low was December 2019.

Exports of coiled plate were 20,997 tons in May, down 22 percent over last month, and down 35 percent year over year. Coiled plate exports have not been this low since September 2018.

Hot rolled steel exports fell 10 percent over April to 22,835 tons, down 49 percent over May 2019.

Exports of cold rolled products were 16,712 tons in May, down 36 percent from April, and down 60 percent over the same month last year.

Galvanized exports decreased 24 percent month over month to 32,906 tons. Compared to levels one year ago, May was down 72 percent.

Exports of all other metallic coated products were 10,161 tons, down 26 percent from April, and down 48 percent compared to one year ago.

US Steel Exports

Below are two graphs showing the history of U.S. steel exports, in total and by product. To use their interactive features, view the graphs on our website by clicking here. If you need assistance logging into or navigating the website, contact us at

US Steel Exports

US Steel Exports

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