Steel Products Prices North America

December Exports Slip to 654,000 Tons, 12MMA at 2.5-Year High

Written by Brett Linton

December U.S. steel exports fell 10% from the month prior to 654,000 net tons, according to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce data. While the last few months have seen declining export levels, the 12-month moving average through December is now at a 33-month high. December exports are up 6% compared to levels one year ago.

Recall that March and June of 2021 were the two highest monthly export levels in the last three years (790,000 and 778,000 tons, respectively), while May 2020 saw a 24-year low of 374,000 tons.

US Steel Exports

Of our six monitored product groups in December, all but one product decreased month-over-month.

US Steel Exports

Total exports for 2021 now total 8.77 million tons. That’s up from a total of 7.09 million tons in 2020, up from 7.77 million tons in 2019, yet down from 9.30 million tons in 2018.

On a rolling-12-month average, December exports rose to a 33-month high of 731,000 tons. Recall August 2020’s record low 12MMA of 577,000 tons.

US Steel Exports

Total December exports are 6% below the three-month moving average (average of October through December 2021), and 10% below the 12-month moving average (average of January through December 2021). Here is a detailed breakdown by product:

Cut-to-length plate exports decreased 21% from November to 81,999 tons, up 3% compared to one year ago.

Exports of coiled plate were 52,381 tons in December, up 2% from the prior month, and up 25% from levels this time last year.

December hot rolled steel exports were down 13% from November at 64,478 tons, down 3% from one year prior.

Exports of cold rolled products were 55,513 tons in December, down 4% from November, yet up 54% from the same time last year.

Galvanized exports decreased 11% month over month to 102,487 tons. Compared to levels one year ago, December was up 3%.

Exports of all other metallic-coated products were 20,558 tons, down 18% from November and down 8% year-over-year.

We have an interactive graphing tool available on our website here where readers can further investigate historical export data in total and by product. Two examples are shown below. If you need assistance logging into or navigating the website, contact us at

US Steel Exports

US Steel Exports

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

Read more from Brett Linton

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America