US Iron and Steel Imports by Supplier Countries

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During 2018, the United States of America imported US$74.8 billion worth of iron and steel (including products made from those metals) from 156 global trade partners.

The total value of US iron and steel-related imports registered a -1.7% decrease from 2014 to 2018. Year over year, America’s purchases of iron and steel expanded by 9.4% from 2017 to 2018.

Among countries, the People’s Republic of China satisfied 20% of America’s imported iron and steel needs followed by Canada at 13.9% then Mexico at 10.1%. Iron and steel delivered to the US from the European Union were valued at $12.2 billion for a 16.5% share of the American market, ahead of Canada but behind number one provider China.

Drilling down from that overall dollar metric, America spent 58.2% ($43.3 billion) on imported products made from iron or steel compared to 41.8% ($31.1 billion) on iron or steel in their metal form

The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code prefix is 72 for iron and steel as materials and 73 for products made from iron or steel.

Countries Exporting Iron and Steel to America

Top 15

America’s top 15 suppliers of iron and steel in 2018 earned $61.3 billion in sales to the US during 2018, or 82.4% of the overall total equal to $74.4 billion. Over half (54.6%) of the overall value were sourced from the top five providers listed below.

  1. China: US$14.9 billion (20% of US iron/steel imports)
  2. Canada: $10.3 billion (13.9%)
  3. Mexico: $7.5 billion (10.1%)
  4. Taiwan: $4.1 billion (5.5%)
  5. South Korea: $3.8 billion (5.1%)
  6. Brazil: $3.5 billion (4.7%)
  7. Germany: $3.3 billion (4.4%)
  8. Russia: $3.2 billion (4.3%)
  9. Japan: $3 billion (4.1%)
  10. Italy: $1.7 billion (2.3%)
  11. India: $1.7 billion (2.2%)
  12. Vietnam: $1.3 billion (1.8%)
  13. Turkey: $1 billion (1.4%)
  14. Thailand: $994.1 million (1.34%)
  15. United Kingdom: $973.8 million (1.31%)

Fastest-growing from 2014 to 2018 among these top suppliers were Vietnam (up 190.4%), Thailand (up 108.6%), Mexico (up 12.3%) then China (up 11.7%).

Leading the decliners over the 5-year period were the United Kingdom (down -44%), Turkey (down -38.4%), South Korea (down -35.2%), Japan (down -27%) then India (down -22.6%).


America also produces and sells its own iron and steel on international markets. In 2018, the United States shipped $35.7 billion worth of iron and steel to its trade partners. That dollar amount represents $16.4 billion in iron and steel as metal plus $19.3 billion worth of actual goods made from iron or steel. Still, America’s revenues from its overall iron and steel exports are valued at under one-half (48%) of the $74.4 billion that the US spent on imports for those same commodities.

Including both as metals and goods made from iron or steel, the overall US trade deficit specific to iron and steel was -$38.7 billion in 2018. That amount of red ink reflects a 12.2% expansion from the -$34.5 billion deficit during 2014.

Below you will find the 15 countries that caused America’s highest negative subtotals from buying and selling iron and steel in all forms on global markets in 2018.

  1. China: -$13.6 billion (product deficit up 18.9% from 2014)
  2. Taiwan: -$3.2 billion (up 20.2%)
  3. Russia: -$3.1 billion (down -13.1%)
  4. Brazil: -$3.1 billion (down -8.5%)
  5. South Korea: -$3.1 billion (down -33.6%)
  6. Germany: -$2.7 billion (down -3%)
  7. Japan: -$2.4 billion (down -33%)
  8. Italy: -$1.4 billion (down -8.5%)
  9. India: -$987.8 million (down -39.6%)
  10. Ukraine: -$920.6 million (up 117.1%)
  11. Vietnam: -$919.8 million (up 223.5%)
  12. Austria: -$823.5 million (up 11.7%)
  13. South Africa: -$813.9 million (down -22.4%)
  14. Thailand: -$709.5 million (up 239.8%)
  15. Sweden: -$704.2 million (down -15.9%)

American leading trade deficits for iron and steel widened at the fastest pace from 2014 to 2018 with Thailand (up 239.8%), Vietnam (up 223.5%), Ukraine (up 117.1%) then Taiwan (up 20.2%).

Please note that the United States posted surpluses in its overall iron and steel trade with both of its North American trade partners in 2018. America earned black ink in the amount of $2.6 billion trading iron and steel-related commodities with Mexico while $592.9 million was at Canada’s expense.


Focusing on iron and steel metals reported as materials under HTS code 72, America imported $31.1 billion worth of iron and steel in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -13.6% decline from 2014 and a 7.9% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

More tellingly, America incurred a -$14.7 billion deficit from importing and exporting iron and steel materials in 2018. That product deficit shrank by -16% from -$12.7 billion in 2014 but expanded 15.3% since 2017.

Below are the top 15 suppliers of iron and steel materials to the US for 2018. Collectively, they account for over three-quarters (78.3%) of total US imports for these metals.

  1. Canada: US$5.9 billion (18.9% of US iron/steel imported as metal)
  2. Brazil: $3.3 billion (10.6%)
  3. Russia: $2.9 billion (9.3%)
  4. Mexico: $2.3 billion (7.4%)
  5. South Korea: $1.6 billion (5.2%)
  6. Germany: $1.3 billion (4.2%)
  7. Japan: $1.2 billion (3.9%)
  8. Ukraine: $837.2 million (2.7%)
  9. Taiwan: $833.5 million (2.7%)
  10. South Africa: $780.6 million (2.5%)
  11. Vietnam: $773.2 million (2.5%)
  12. China: $698.2 million (2.2%)
  13. Netherlands: $660.1 million (2.1%)
  14. Italy: $656.9 million (2.1%)
  15. Sweden: $609.8 million (2%)

Four countries among these top 15 suppliers expanded their sales of iron or steel as metals materials to the US from 2014 to 2018 namely Vietnam (up 1,171%), Ukraine (up 145.3%), Germany (up 7.5%) and Canada (up 0.4%).

Leading the decliners over the 5-year period were China (down -74.6%), Japan (down -34.9%), Taiwan (down -29.8%), South Korea (down -27.7%), South Africa (down -24.8%) then the Netherlands (down -22.1%).


As for actual products reported under HTS code 73, America imported $43.3 billion worth of goods made from iron or steel in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 9.1% increase since 2014 and a 10.6% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

From a trade balance perspective, America incurred a -$24.1 billion deficit from importing and exporting goods made from iron and steel during 2018. That product deficit swelled by 40.9% from -$17.1 billion in red ink during 2014 and rose by 16.1% from 2017 to 2018.

Below are America’s top 15 suppliers of products made from iron and steel for 2018. Collectively, these 15 countries generated 89.5% of all iron or steel items that the US imported.

  1. China: US$14.2 billion (32.8% of US imported items made from iron/steel)
  2. Mexico: $5.2 billion (12.1%)
  3. Canada: $4.5 billion (10.3%)
  4. Taiwan: $3.2 billion (7.5%)
  5. South Korea: $2.1 billion (4.9%)
  6. Germany: $2 billion (4.6%)
  7. Japan: $1.8 billion (4.2%)
  8. India: $1.4 billion (3.1%)
  9. Italy: $1.1 billion (2.5%)
  10. Thailand: $869.7 million (2%)
  11. Vietnam: $540.9 million (1.2%)
  12. Spain: $487.1 million (1.12%)
  13. Austria: $472.9 million (1.1%)
  14. United Kingdom: $464.1 million (1.09%)
  15. Turkey: $419.3 million (1%)

Since 2014, five among these top suppliers grew their sales to the US by double-digits: Thailand (up 91.4%), Vietnam (up 38.1%), China (up 34.1%), Taiwan (up 23.9%) then Mexico (up 19.8%).

Leading the decliners were South Korea (down -40%), Japan (down -20.6%) then Turkey (down -20.3%).


Searchable List of US Overall Iron and Steel Suppliers

The table below shows the dollar amount for iron and steel sold to the US in 2018 by country, including both materials and goods made from iron or steel. Also shown is the percentage value change for each supplier since 2014.

You can change presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns.

RankSupplierIron/Steel Imports (US$)2014-18
1China$14.9 billion+11.7%
2Canada$10.3 billion+3.5%
3Mexico$7.5 billion+12.3%
4Taiwan$4.1 billion+7.1%
5South Korea$3.8 billion-35.2%
6Brazil$3.5 billion-12.6%
7Germany$3.3 billion-4%
8Russia$3.2 billion-14.8%
9Japan$3 billion-27%
10Italy$1.7 billion-8.9%
11India$1.7 billion-22.6%
12Vietnam$1.3 billion+190.4%
13Turkey$1 billion-38.4%
14Thailand$994.1 million+108.6%
15United Kingdom$973.8 million-44%
16Ukraine$971.3 million+114.9%
17South Africa$872.5 million-22.7%
18Austria$869 million+13.9%
19Netherlands$859.7 million-10.7%
20France$847 million-18.8%
21Sweden$765.9 million-14.5%
22Spain$759 million-0.7%
23Trinidad/Tobago$595.2 million-15.6%
24Australia$504.1 million+53.1%
25Malaysia$425.8 million+84.3%
26Belgium$355.4 million-0.8%
27Indonesia$349.7 million+117.3%
28Romania$288.8 million+15.5%
29United Arab Emirates$288 million+83.5%
30Czech Republic$273.9 million-47.7%
31Greece$261.9 million+417.4%
32Argentina$258.3 million-29.6%
33Kazakhstan$228.6 million+19.4%
34Switzerland$220.1 million+6.4%
35Finland$202.3 million-25.4%
36Norway$199.5 million+16.5%
37Luxembourg$158.9 million-46.8%
38Oman$155.8 million+12.6%
39Poland$154.9 million+89.3%
40Georgia$153.6 million-0.9%
41Chile$149 million+15%
42Dominican Republic$136.9 million+525.6%
43Saudi Arabia$122.7 million+20.2%
44Portugal$122.5 million+83.5%
45Colombia$122 million-38.5%
46Egypt$114.9 million+400.1%
47Philippines$101.7 million-20.5%
48Israel$96.5 million+24.5%
49Slovenia$84.7 million+20.5%
50Guatemala$81.8 million+368.6%
51Denmark$77.5 million-20.9%
52New Zealand$61.6 million-25.8%
53Zimbabwe$57 million+52.5%
54Slovakia$56.8 million-20.2%
55New Caledonia$52.1 million-36.8%
56Belarus$51.4 million-41.8%
57Hong Kong$45.2 million-13.4%
58Serbia$45.1 million+1941.2%
59Venezuela$41.6 million-36.9%
60Costa Rica$35.1 million+230.7%
61Singapore$33.8 million-27.7%
62Albania$33 million+1,120%
63Bulgaria$30.3 million+29.4%
64Latvia$24.9 million+247.9%
65Peru$22.4 million-33.7%
66Pakistan$21.6 million-8.1%
67Hungary$19.9 million+10%
68Morocco$19.7 million+11,182%
69Ireland$18.9 million+28.4%
70Iceland$15.5 million-9.4%
71North Macedonia$15.3 million-32.9%
72Tunisia$14.8 million+33.9%
73Qatar$13.5 million+53,828%
74Lithuania$13.2 million+224.6%
75Bahrain$11.2 million+125.7%
76Honduras$8 million+127.6%
77Croatia$4.4 million+22.2%
78Ecuador$3.2 million+64.1%
79El Salvador$2.6 million+173.9%
80Estonia$2.4 million-52.4%
81Panama$2 million+22.6%
82Bangladesh$1.8 million+11,206%
83Bosnia/Herzegovina$1.8 million+439%
84Zambia$1.3 million+4.7%
85Bahamas$1.2 million+54.2%
86Saint Kitts/Nevis$561,000+286.9%
87Cayman Islands$460,000-77.6%
89Marshall Islands$305,000no 2014 data
90Turks/Caicos Islands$263,000+952%
96British Virgin Islands$53,000-81.6%
99Saint Lucia$15,000-58.3%

See also US Uranium Imports by Supplying Country, US Aluminum Imports by Supplying Country and US Imported Cars by Supplier Countries

Research Sources:
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 15, 2019

Mohawk Global Logistics, HTS Codes Affected by New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs by Danielle Leonard. Accessed on March 15, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 15, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 15, 2019