Steel Products Prices North America

Apparent Steel Supply Inches Up in June

Written by Brett Linton

U.S apparent steel supply inched upwards in June to 6.93 million net tons, according to U.S. Department of Commerce and American Iron and Steel Institute data. While up over the previous month, April and May were the two lowest supply levels in the last 10 years at 6.54 million tons and 6.61 million tons, respectively. Apparent steel supply, a proxy for demand, is determined by combining domestic steel shipments and finished U.S. steel imports, then deducting total U.S. steel exports.

June apparent supply was down 1.93 million tons (21.8 percent) compared to the same month one year ago when apparent supply was 8.86 million tons. This change was primarily due to a 1.69 million ton decline in domestic shipments and a 408,000 ton decrease in finished imports, while a 176,000 ton decline in total exports slightly lessened the overall decrease in apparent supply.

The net trade balance between U.S. steel imports and exports was a surplus of 974,000 million tons imported in June, down 32.7 percent from the prior month and down 32.4 percent from one year ago. Finished steel imports accounted for 19.2 percent of apparent steel supply in June, down from 22.8 percent in May and down from 19.6 percent one year ago.

Compared to the prior month when apparent steel supply was 6.61 million tons, June supply rose 316,000 tons or 4.8 percent. This change was primarily due to a 562,000 ton increase in domestic shipments, which was somewhat countered by a 176,000 ton decrease in finished imports and a 69,000 ton increase in total exports.

The figure below shows year-to-date averages for each statistic over the last five years. 2020 apparent supply remains down compared to the first six months of all previous years shown.

To see an interactive graphic of our Apparent Steel Supply history (example shown below), visit the Apparent Steel Supply page in the Analysis section of the SMU website. If you need any assistance logging into or navigating the website, contact us at or 800-432-3475.

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