Global steel production falls 3% on year in August: worldsteel

Global crude steel production totaled 150.55 million mt in August, down 3.0% year on year, although it was 1.1% higher than July’s six-month low, according to World Steel Association data published Sept. 22.

This brought total production for the first eight months of 2022 to 1.25 million mt, down 5.2% on the year.

China produced 83.9 million mt in August, up 0.5% from a year ago and rising 3.0% from July’s six-month low, making up 55.7% of total global crude steel output.

This brought January-August steel production in China to 693.2 million mt, down 5.7% year on year.

The world’s second-largest steel producer India also saw production grow 1.2% year on year in August to 10.2 million mt, which was also up 1.7% month on month, the data showed.

India’s cumulative January-August output also rose 7.1% to 83.5 million mt, according to worldsteel.

Japan’s August production was 7.3 million mt, down 7.4% on the year but up 0.2% from July’s six-month low, with January-August output down 5.2% on the year to 60.7 million mt.

US output in August of 7 million mt was down 7.1% year on year but up 1.1% on the month, taking January-August production to 54.9 million mt, down 3.7% year on year.

Russia was estimated to have produced 5.9 million mt in August, falling 5.5% from August 2021 and down 1% from July, bringing its estimated January-August output to 48.9 million mt, down 5.8% on the year.

South Korea produced an estimated 6.1 million mt of crude steel in August, down 0.4% year on year and 0.1% lower month on month, with the eight-month volume down 3% on the year to 46 million mt.

Europe January-August output down 7.3%

For Europe, including the UK and Turkey, crude steel production fell 14.8% on the year in August to 13.3 million mt, which was also down 9.1% from July to the lowest monthly volume since April 2020, the data showed.

Europe’s January-August volume was 126.13 million mt, dropping 7.3% on the year.

Germany, the largest steel producer in Europe, saw its crude steel production fall 2.3% on the year in August to 2.9 million mt, which was also down 3.3% on the month to a two-year low, as high energy costs dented demand and the auto sector remained impacted by the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

In January-August, Germany produced 25.4 million of crude steel, down 4.8% 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 Eur740/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 21, down 19.7% since the start of 2022, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Turkey August production down 21% on year

Turkey’s August output also fell 21% year on year to 2.8 million mt, according to the data, although this was up 3.8% from July’s volume. Eight-month production was down 8.8% on the year to 24.4 million mt.

Brazil produced 2.8 million mt in August, down 11.3% year on year, but up 0.6% from July, while Iran’s monthly output was at 2.1 million mt, up 64.7% on the year and 2.6% higher than the previous month.

Brazil’s January-August production fell 4.5% on the year to 23.1 million mt, while Iran’s output for the eight-month period rose 7.8% to 19.5 million mt.

August production of pig iron from 38 countries was 106.3 million mt, down 3.8% year on year, the data showed, while direct reduced iron produced worldwide amounted to 8.7. million mt, up 13.0% year on year, the data showed.

Pig iron output over the January-August period totaled 865.15 million mt, down 5.3% year on year, while DRI production for the period rose 6.9% on the year to 73.4 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