Global crude steel output recovers in Jan but remains 3.3% lower on year: World Steel

Global monthly crude steel production in January fell 3.3% year on year to 145.25 million mt, according to World Steel Association data published Feb. 22.

The January monthly production total represented the third consecutive month of month on month growth, with global steel output in January increasing by 3.4% over December 2022.

Leading producers

China produced 79.45 million mt of crude steel during the month, up 2.3% year on year and 2.0% on the month, accounting for 54.7% of the overall total.

Monthly production in world’s second-largest steel producer, India, was reported at 10.93 million mt, up 2.6% year on year but falling 0.2% from the month prior.

Similarly, steel production in Japan was reported at 7.22 million mt for the month, down 6.9% year on year but 4.6% over the month prior.

Output from the US increased for a third consecutive month, with January production reported at 6.50 million mt, down 6.8% year on year but up 2.6% on a monthly basis.

In Russia, monthly steel production was reported at 5.75 million mt, unchanged from the month prior but down 8.9% year on year as the Russia-Ukraine war and related sanctions continued to weigh on the industry.

South Korea production for January decreased 9.8% on the year to 54.77 million mt.

Output from Turkey fell 17.5% to 26.05 million mt.

European output falls

Monthly crude steel production in the whole of Europe, including the UK, was reported at 12.21 million mt in January, down 17.5% year on year as the region’s steel producers continued to curtail production due to high energy prices and low demand.

European steel producers have seen some relief in recent weeks, with mild winter temperatures causing European gas prices to fall to levels not seen since December 2021 amid healthy gas storage levels and demand reductions.

As a result, some mills have signaled that they will gradually restart operations, but high inflation and persistent recessionary fears continue to weigh on the demand outlook.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed Dutch TTF front-month gas at Eur31.70/MWh Feb. 21, up 1.4% from the previous session. The TTF benchmark contract averaged Eur132.31/MWh in 2022, S&P Global data showed.

Platts assessed Northwest Europe hot-rolled coil at Eur790/mt ($840/mt) ex-works Ruhr Feb. 21, up from Eur610/mt Dec. 1, 2022.

— Euan Sadden