Global steel production down 6.5% on-year to six-month low in July: worldsteel

Global crude steel production totaled 149.3 million mt in July, down 6.5% year on year and down 5.9% on the month to the lowest month level since February, according to World Steel Association data published Aug. 23.

This brought total production for the first seven months of 2022 to 1.1 billion mt, down 5.4% on the year.

Largest steelmaker China produced 81.4 million mt in July, down 6.4% from a year ago and falling 10.3% on the month to a six-month low, making up 54.5% of total global crude steel output.

This brought January-July steel production in China to 609.3 million mt, down 6.4% year on year.

However. the world’s second-largest steel producer India saw production grow 3.2% year on year in July to 10.1 million mt, which was also up 1.4% month on month, the data showed.

India’s January-July output also rose 8% to 73.3 million, according to worldsteel.

Japan’s July production was at a six-month low of 7.3 million mt, down 8.5% on the year and 1.6% lower from June, with January-July output down 4.9% on the year to 53.3 million mt, the data showed.

July output from the US fell 6.4% year on year, but rose 3.6% on the month to 7 million mt, taking January-July production to 48 million mt, down 3% year on year.

Russia was estimated to have produced 5.5 million mt in July, falling 13.2% from July 2021, but up 10% from June, which had been the lowest monthly volume since S&P Global Commodity Insight’s records began at the start of 2018.

Russia’s estimated January-July output was also 7% lower on the year at 41.4 million mt.

South Korea produced 6.1 million mt of crude steel in July, down 0.6% year on year, but up 9% from June, with the seven-month volume down 3.4% on the year to 39.9 million mt.

Europe January-July output down 5.9%

In the whole of Europe, including the UK and Turkey, crude steel production fell 9.2% on the year in July to 15.2 million mt, which was also down 2.3% from June to the lowest monthly volume since September 2020, the data showed.

Europe’s January-July volume 113.5 million mt, dropping 5.9% on the year.

Germany, the largest steel producer in Europe, saw its crude steel production fall 2% on the year in July to 3 million mt, which was also down 6.9% on the month to a 11-month low, as high energy costs dented demand and the auto sector still impacted by the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

In January-July, Germany produced 22.5 million of crude steel, down 5.1% year on year, the data showed.

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe have been weakening since the second half of March on low demand, with Platts assessing domestic HRC prices in Northern Europe at Eur725/mt ex-works Ruhr Aug. 22, down 13% since the start of 2022, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Turkey’s July output also fell 20.7% year on year to 2.7 million mt, according to the data, which was also 8.6% lower than June’s volume. January-July production was down 6.9% on the year to 21.6 million mt.

Brazil produced 2.8 million mt in July, down 8.7% year on year and falling 3.5% from June, while Iran’s monthly output was at 2 million mt, up 34.1% on the year and 25% lower than the previous month.

Brazil’s January-July production fell 3.5% on the year to 20.3 million mt, while Iran’s output for the seven-month period rose 3.7% to 17.4 million mt.

July production of pig iron from 38 countries was 104.9 million mt, down 6.2% year on year, the data showed, while direct reduced iron produced worldwide amounted to 9.2. million mt, up 20.7% year on year, the data showed.

Pig iron output over the January-July period totaled 756.25 million mt, down 5.1% year on year, while DRI production for the period rose 5.4% on the year to 64.68 million mt.

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

— Jacqueline Holman