Baowu overtakes ArcelorMittal as world’s largest steelmaker

China Baowu Group recorded 95.22 million tonnes of crude steel production in 2019, according to the company’s chairman, Chen Derong. This means Baowu has officially become the world’s largest steelmaking group, surpassing ArcelorMittal’s crude steel production of 89.8mt in 2019, Kallanish notes.

In 2019, Baowu Group’s revenue was CNY 556.6 billion ($80.24 billion), with a total profit of CNY 34.52 billion, a year-on-year increase of CNY 690 million, Chen added. It had around 90m t/year of steelmaking capacity directly under its control after merging with Ma’anshan Iron and Steel (Magang) last year. Currently, Baowu is working on gaining direct control of Chongqing Iron & Steel in which it already has a significant stake, giving it 100m t/y of crude steel capacity in total.

Because China accounts for 50% of the world’s steel production capacity, for Baowu to become the world’s largest steel producer is “…reasonable,” Derong says. Baowu aims to better integrate its companies to improve the efficiency of resource allocation. On 3 March, Baowu and Zhejiang’s Shaoxing city also signed a memorandum of cooperation for the development of carbon fibre projects.

China Baowu says it will also vigorously promote “internationalisation” – taking shareholdings in foreign companies – this year, mainly in Europe and the United States and along the “Belt and Road” countries. After Jingye announced the acquisition of British Steel, Baowu’s internal documents indicated the group needed to accelerate its internationalisation.