World 2020 steel output slips 0.9% on year: worldsteel

Global crude steel production in 2020 slipped 0.9% year over year to 1.86 billion mt as rising output in Iran, Turkey and China almost fully offset losses in most other major steel-producing countries, the World Steel Association said in a Jan. 26 report.

Iran posted the largest increase, with production climbing about 13.4% year over year to an estimated 29 million mt in 2020. Overall production in the Middle East reached 45.4 million mt, a 2.5% increase from 2019 numbers.

Total 2020 crude steel production in Asia grew 1.5% year over year to 1.37 billion mt, bolstered by a 5.2% increase in China’s steel output to 1.05 billion mt.

China’s share of global crude steel production increased from 53.3% in 2019 to 56.5% in 2020, worldsteel said.

Other Asian countries reporting to worldsteel saw declines in steel production. Steel output fell 10.6% to 99.6 million mt in India, 16.2% to 83.2 million mt in Japan and 6% to 67.1 million mt in South Korea.

Turkey’s crude steel production in 2020 was 35.8 million mt, up 6.0% from 2019, worldsteel said.

Russia is estimated to have increased steel production by 2.6% in 2020, reaching about 73.4 million mt. Overall, steel output in CIS countries rose 1.5% to 102 million mt during the period.

Worldsteel said steel production decreased in the EU, the Americas and Oceania.

The EU’s crude steel output dropped 11.8% year over year to 138.8 million mt, with production in Germany falling 10% to 35.7 million mt.

Steel production slid 15.5% to 101.1 million mt in North America and 8.4% to 38.2 million mt in South America. The US produced 72.7 million mt (down 17.2%) and Brazil produced 31 million mt (down 4.9%).

Oceania produced 6.1 million mt of crude steel in 2020, down 1.4% from 2019.

Steel production in Africa remained steady in 2020 at 17.2 million mt.

— Nick Lazzaro