Global output sees December decline, slight full-year growth

Global crude steel production closed out 2021 with a decline of 3% on-year in December to 158.74 million tonnes, as China and the EU both saw reduced output, worldsteel data show. Full-year 2021 production still inched up 3.6% on-year to 1.91 billion tonnes, but slowed from the 14% growth seen after the first half-year, Kallanish notes.

December was the fifth consecutive month to see a decline in crude steel production across the 64 countries reporting to worldsteel.

Chinese output fell 6.8% to 86.19mt, but Indian, Japanese and South Korean output rose 0.9%, 5.4% and 1.1% respectively to 10.4mt, 7.9mt and 5.98mt.

EU27 output dropped 1.4% to 11.1mt. Although German production was up 0.1% to 3.14mt, Italian, French and Spanish output fell 6.9%, 13.5% and 5.7% respectively to 1.5mt, 999,000t and 844,000t.

Turkish output meanwhile dropped for the first time in multiple months, by 2.3% to 3.33mt.

US production nevertheless continued to surge, rising 12% to 7.25mt in December, while Brazilian output was down 11.4% to 2.61mt.

CIS output fell 3% to 8.93mt, with Russian production estimated flat at 6.57mt and Ukrainian output confirmed down 8.5% to 1.74mt.

In the full year, although global output grew, Chinese production ended down 3% versus 2020 to 1.03 billion tonnes.

However, India’s and Japan’s surged 18% and 15% respectively to 118.1mt and 96.3mt. EU output grew 15% to 152.5mt, with Turkish output up 12.7% to 40.4mt. The US and Brazil saw production up 18% and 14.7% respectively to 86.01mt and 36.04mt. Russia is estimated to have grown output 6% to 76mt.

In fact, besides China, Qatar, Iran, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Hungary were the only countries to see crude steel production decline last year, according to worldsteel’s statistics, with Norway seeing a 0.2% drop.

Adam Smith Germany