Global steel production down 5.1% on-year in April: worldsteel

Global crude steel production totaled 162.7 million mt in April, down 5.1% from April 2021, according to World Steel Association data published May 24.

Output from January through April totaled 619.1 million mt, down 7.1% from year-ago levels, data showed.

April global production was 1.2% higher than March.

Platts assessed domestic HRC prices in Northern Europe at Eur1,275/mt ex-works Ruhr April 29, down from $1,390/mt at the start of the month, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The largest producer, China, produced 92.8 million mt of crude steel in April, making up 57% of total global crude steel output. That is down 5.2% from April 2021, but up 5.1% from March.

Total steel produced in China from January through April was 336.2 million mt, down 10.3% from the same period a year ago.

The world’s second-largest steel producer, India, produced 10.1 million mt in April, up 6.2% year on year, but down 8.8% from March. India’s January-April output was 42.3 million mt, also up 6.5% year on year.

Turkey and Russia were the only other top-10 producers that saw production rises in April. Turkey’s output totaled 3.4 million mt, up 1.6%, while Russia’s production ticked up 0.6% to an estimated 6.4 million mt.

April production from Japan totaled 7.5 million mt, down 4.4% on the year and 6.1% from March, with January-April output at 30.5 million mt, down 3.3% from the same period of 2021, data showed.

April output from the US totaled 6.9 million mt, down 3.9% year on year and 0.2% from March, bringing the four-month total to 27.1 million mt, down 1.7% from the same 2021 period.

South Korea’s production in April totaled 5.5 million mt, down 4.1% on the year and 2.9% from March. From January through April, South Korean output was 22.4 million mt, down 4% from the same period a year ago.

European production declines

Crude steel production in Europe, including the UK, totaled 16.5 million mt in April, down 3.7% from April 2021, but up 1.1% from March. January-April output for the region totaled 65 million, down 4.2% from the same period in 2021.

Germany, the largest European steel producer, produced 3.3 million mt in April, down 1.1% year on year, but steady with March.

The European steel market has been affected in recent months by a lack of demand from the auto sector because of the ongoing semiconductor and chip shortage, which is restricting vehicle production.

Production of pig iron from 38 countries was 112 million mt in April, down from 114.2 million mt a year ago, but up from 108 million mt in March.

Direct reduced iron produced worldwide in April amounted to 9.4 million mt, compared with 9.3 million mt a year ago and 9.3 million mt in March.

Crude steel data covers the 64 countries that report to worldsteel, accounting for about 98% of the world’s crude steel production.

— Jacqueline Holman