Steel Products Prices North America

June Apparent Steel Supply Slips Under 9.1 Million Tons

Written by Brett Linton

US apparent steel supply declined 4% month-over-month to 9.05 million net tons in June, erasing May’s gains, according to the latest US Department of Commerce and American Iron and Steel Institute data. June supply is now at the second lowest monthly level seen in the past 12 months, above only the February 2022 figure. Recall that supply reached a six-year high last September at 9.92 million tons, declining each month through February.

Apparent steel supply, a proxy for demand, is determined by combining domestic steel mill shipments and finished US steel imports, then deducting total US steel exports.

June apparent supply was 331,000 tons lower than the same month one year ago when supply was 9.38 million tons. This 4% decline was primarily due to a 425,000-ton decrease in domestic shipments and a 22,000 increase in exports, the sum of which was reduced by a 116,000-ton increase in finished imports. The net trade balance between US steel imports and exports was at a surplus of 2.04 million tons imported in June, 6% less than levels one year prior. Finished steel imports accounted for 25% of supply in June, up from 23% this time last year. The graphic below shows June trade statistics for each of the past three years.

Compared to last month when apparent supply was 9.48 million tons, June’s supply fell by 423,000 tons. This 4% decline was primarily due to a 304,000-ton decrease in domestic shipments, followed by a 112,000-ton decline in finished steel imports and a 7,000-ton increase in total exports. The net trade balance between imports and exports in June rose 4% from May. The percentage of apparent steel supply composed of finished steel imports was steady at 25%. The graphic below shows monthly statistics over the last three months.

The figure below shows year-to-date monthly averages for each statistic over the last five years. The average monthly apparent supply level for the first six months of 2022 continues to improve compared to the same periods in 2020 and 2021. It is now back in line with the monthly averages of most previous years shown.

Apparent supply for the entire year of 2021 totaled 110.3 million tons, up 22% from 90.3 million tons in 2020, and up 1% from 109.5 million tons in 2019. In Steel Market Update’s 13-year data history, 2014 holds the annual record at 119.5 million tons.

To see an interactive graphic of our Apparent Steel Supply history, 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

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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