Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Exports Rebound in August, Over 800,000 Tons Again

Written by Brett Linton

US steel exports rebounded 8% from July to August, according to the latest US Commerce Department data. Just over 800,000 net tons entered the country during the month, now the third-highest monthly export rate seen in the last four years (behind March and April 2022). Exports on a rolling annual basis are now at a three and a a half year high. Total August exports were 5% higher than levels seen one year ago.

As shown in the graph below, monthly exports have remained relatively high compared 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 May 2017, and the highest monthly rate in our history was January 2012 at 1.32 million tons. Recall that in 2020, total steel exports had fallen to a 24-year low of 374,000 tons in May.

US Steel Exports

Of our six monitored product groups, five increased month-over-month in August and one decreased (Table 1).

US Steel Exports

On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, export levels for the first eight months of 2022 now average 778,000 tons per month. This is up from an average of 742,000 tons in the same period of 2021, up from an average of 549,000 tons in 2020 YTD, and up from an average of 655,000 tons in 2019 YTD.

On a 12-month moving average basis (12MMA) basis through August, exports for the past 12 months now average 755,000 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 August exports were 3% above the 3MMA (average of June through August 2022), and 6% above the 12MMA (average of September 2021 through August 2022). Here is a detailed breakdown by product:

Cut-to-length plate exports rose to 112,120 tons in August, up 6% compared to July but down 2% versus August 2021.

Exports of coiled plate were 51,805 tons in August, up 12% from the prior month and up 19% from August of last year.

August hot rolled steel exports rose 4% from July to 61,197 tons, down 22% compared to one year prior.

Exports of cold rolled products were 59,888 tons in August, up 30% versus July and 14% higher than the same month last year.

Galvanized exports were 119,395 tons, up 15% compared to July and up 13% year-over-year.

Exports of all other metallic-coated products decreased 8% month-over-month to 27,426 tons. Compared to levels one year ago, August was down 9%.

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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