World crude steel November output falls 2.6% on year as slide continues: worldsteel

World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 139.1 million mt in November 2022, a 2.6% decrease compared with November 2021.

The month’s crude steel output was hit by cutbacks due to high energy costs, particularly in the European Union; by the impact of war in Ukraine, Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States nations; and by slowing economic growth in many nations, curbing demand.

World output has been declining since this year’s production high of 169.9 million mt in May, the worldsteel data showed. Long-term expectations are nonetheless for steel consumption to rise in coming years on population growth, which will boost demand for housing, vehicles and infrastructure.

EU output down 17.9% on year

By region, the EU (27) produced 10.5 million mt of crude steel in November, down 17.9% year on year, worldsteel said in a Dec. 22 bulletin. Other nations in Europe produced 3.2 million mt, down 25.1%. Russia, other CIS and Ukraine produced 6.5 million mt, down 24.6%. Africa produced 1.3 million mt, down 11.4%.

Asia and Oceania produced 101.4 million mt, up 2.7%. The Middle East produced 4 million mt, up 11.6%.

North America produced 8.9 million mt, down 6.3%. South America produced 3.4 million mt, down 14.3%, according to worldsteel.

The world’s top two crude steel producers both registered an increase in the month: China’s November output at 74.5 million mt was 7.3% higher than in the same month in 2021, while India’s output at 10.4% was 5.7% up year on year.

11-month total down 3.7%

Global crude steel output for the 64 countries monitored also fell in the January-November period, by 3.7% year on year, to 1.69 billion mt, worldsteel said.

The 64 countries accounted for an estimated 98% of total world output in 2021.

All of the top 10 steel producing nations recorded a fall in crude steel production in the 11-month period compared with the same period a year earlier, except for India and Iran, which are both proceeding with major steel capacity expansion programs.

China’s crude steel output in Jan-Nov, at 935.1 million mt, was 1.4% lower than in the same 2021 period, while Turkey, also in the top producers’ list, saw output slide 12.3% from a year earlier to 32.5 million mt.

India’s crude steel output in the 11-month period grew 6% year on year to 114.2 million mt, while Iran’s was up 8.5% to 27.9 million mt, worldsteel said.

Asian hot-rolled steel coil prices were unchanged Dec. 22 as liquidity dried up. Offers and bids were described as scant, with several market participants away for the year-end holidays.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed SS400 HRC 3 mm thick up $2/mt on the day at $587/mt FOB China. On a CFR Southeast Asia basis, the same grade of coil was assessed unchanged over the same period at $583/mt.

— Diana Kinch