Global output falls versus 2021, rises on February

Global crude steel production dropped 5.8% on-year in March to 161.05 million tonnes, due to reduced EU, Asian and CIS output, the latter a direct consequence of the Ukraine war. Output however grew 13% versus February, according to worldsteel data.

Chinese output fell 6.4% on-year in March to 88.3mt, but Indian production grew 4.4% to 10.94mt. Japanese and South Korean production declined 4.3% and 6.1% respectively to 7.96mt and 5.69mt. Output in all four countries grew versus February, Kallanish notes.

EU27 production meanwhile fell 8.5% to 12.79mt, with German and Italian output down 11.8% and 8.6% respectively to 3.33mt and 2.11mt. These tonnages were however up versus February. French and Spanish output are also estimated to have declined on-year.

Turkish output was down for a fourth consecutive month, by 3% to 3.32mt, but rose versus February. Serbia reported the largest confirmed on-year output increase in Europe, by 11.8% to 153,000t.

US production saw its first drop in multiple months, by 1.7% to 6.98mt, but this was up on February, while Brazilian output is estimated to have rebounded 5.4% on-year in March to 2.96mt.

CIS output fell an estimated 19% to 7.43mt, with Russian output estimated down 1.8% to 6.59mt and Ukrainian output estimated at only 200,000t versus 1.78mt a year earlier. This is the result of Ukrainian steelmaking coming to an almost complete standstill in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Global crude steel output in the first quarter thus fell 6.8% on-year to 456.63mt.

Earlier this month, worldsteel revised down its 2022 global steel demand growth forecast to 0.4% on-year, giving 1.84 billion tonnes.

Adam Smith Germany