Steel Products Prices North America

US Steel Exports Slip 10% in September

Written by Brett Linton

US steel export volumes shrunk 10% from August to September, according to the latest US Commerce Department data. 723,000 net tons of steel products exited the country during the month, now the fourth-lowest monthly export rate over the past year and a half. Recall that exports levels in August were at the third-highest monthly rate seen in the past four years. Exports on a rolling annual basis remain near a three and a a half year high through September figures. September 2022 exports are 1% lower than levels seen one year prior.

Export levels this year have remained relatively high compared to recent years, as shown in Figure 1. The highest monthly figure seen in the past four years was in March 2022 at 843,000 tons. The highest level recorded in the chart below 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, steel exports fell to a 24-year low of 374,000 tons in May.

US Steel Exports

Of our six monitored product groups in Table 1, all decreased month-over-month in September.

US Steel Exports

On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, export levels for the first nine months of 2022 now average 772,000 tons per month. This is up from an average of 741,000 tons in the same period of 2021, an average of 564,000 tons in 2020 YTD, and an average of 654,000 tons in 2019 YTD.

On a 12-month moving average basis (12MMA) through September, exports for the past 12 months now average 754,000 tons (Figure 2). Recall the September 2020 12MMA multi-year low 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 September exports were 4% below the 3MMA (average of July through September 2022), and also 4% below the 12MMA (average of October 2021 through September 2022). Here is a detailed breakdown by product:

Cut-to-length plate exports declined to 103,785 tons in September, down 7% compared to August but up 1% versus September 2021.

Exports of coiled plate were 32,232 tons in September, down 38% from the prior month and down 28% from September of last year.

September hot-rolled steel exports fell 13% from August to 53,057 tons, down 20% compared to one year prior.

Exports of cold-rolled products were 53,067 tons in September, a decline of 11% versus August and 5% lower than the same month last year.

Galvanized exports were 109,510 tons, down 8% compared to August but up 3% year-over-year.

Exports of all other metallic-coated products decreased 15% month-over-month to 23,394 tons. Compared to levels one year ago, September was down 20%.

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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