EU, Chinese output finishes 2020 strongly, India accelerates

Crude steel production in the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) rose 5.8% on-year in December to 160.86 million tonnes, slowing slightly from November growth, Kallanish notes. Output in 2020 was nevertheless still down -0.9% on-year to 1.83 billion tonnes, although this was a far more moderate drop than many expected at the outbreak of Covid-19.

Chinese output rose 7.7% in December to 91.25mt, while Indian production accelerated further, growing 4.4% to 9.8mt. Japanese output fell -3.3% to 7.53mt, but South Korean production grew 1.2% to 5.95mt. Vietnam did not provide data and output was therefore estimated at 1.6mt.

EU28 output rebounded further in December, surging 10% to 11.76mt, led by a 10.6% increase in Germany to 3.14mt. Italian output was estimated to have grown 6.9% to 1.5mt, while French output is confirmed to have surged 26% to 1.16mt.

Turkish output continued its recovery, rising 18% to 3.4mt.

US production slumped again, by -11.8% to 6.4mt, but Brazilian output grew again, by 17.2% to 2.89mt.

CIS production rose 3.1% to 8.7mt, with Russian output estimated to have fallen -0.8% to 6.11mt but Ukrainian production confirmed to have surged 22% to 1.91mt.

China carried global output in 2020, growing production 5% on-year to 1.052 billion tonnes, although Vietnamese output also rose, by an estimated 11.6% to 19.5mt.

EU28 output fell -12% to 138.79mt, with only Czech Republic, Finland and Greece seeing growth. Turkish production rose 6% to 35.76mt.

US output slumped -17% to 72.69mt and Brazilian output was down -5% to 30.97mt. CIS production rose 1.5% to 101.8mt.