Steel Products Prices North America

July Steel Exports Slow to 5-Month Low

Written by Brett Linton

US steel exports declined 7% from June to July, now at a five-month low of 742,000 net tons according to the latest US Commerce Department data. Just one month prior, we saw the third-highest monthly export rate seen in the past four years at 800,000 tons.

On a 12-month moving average basis (12MMA), annual steel exports through July eased from the multi-year high seen in the previous month but remain strong. Total July exports are 2% lower than levels seen one year ago.

As shown in the graph below, July exports are relatively high in comparison to recent years. For comparison, the highest monthly figure seen in the past four years was in March 2022 at 843,000 tons. The highest level recorded in Figure 1 was 1.05 million tons in June 2017, and the highest monthly rate in our history was January 2012 at 1.32 million tons. Recall that in July 2020, total steel exports had fallen to a 24-year low of 374,000 tons.

US Steel Exports

Of our six monitored product groups, four decreased month-over-month in July and two increased (Table 1).

US Steel Exports

On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, export levels for the first seven months of 2022 now average 775,000 tons per month. This is up from an average of 739,000 tons in the same period of 2021, up from an average of 544,000 tons in 2020 YTD, and up from an average of 651,000 tons in 2019 YTD.

On a rolling 12MMA basis through July, exports for the last year now average 752,000 tons (Figure 2). Recall the August 2020 multiyear low 12MMA of 577,000 tons. Total exports averaged 731,000 tons per month in 2021, compared to 591,000 tons in 2020, 648,000 tons in 2019, and 775,000 tons in 2018.

US Steel Exports

Total July exports are 5% below the 3MMA (average of May through July 2022), and 1% below the 12MMA (average of August 2021 through July 2022). Here is a detailed breakdown by product:

Cut-to-length plate exports rose to 106,059 tons in July, up 3% compared to June and up 7% compared to July 2021.

Exports of coiled plate were 46,282 tons in July, up 18% from the prior month and up 7% from July of last year.

July hot rolled steel exports fell 12% from June to 58,849 tons and were down 28% from one year prior.

Exports of cold rolled products were 46,214 tons in July, 14% less than June and 26% lower than the same month last year.

Galvanized exports were 103,382 tons, down 13% compared to June and down 7% year-over-year.

Exports of all other metallic-coated products decreased less than 1% month-over-month to 29,802 tons. Compared to levels one year ago, July is up 19%.

Figures 3 and 4 show US exports by product, both monthly levels and on a 12MMA basis.

US Steel Exports

US Steel Exports

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

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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