Worldsteel: Global Steel Production Up Slightly in September

Written by David Schollaert

Global crude steel production was estimated at 151.7 million metric tons in September as steelmakers around the globe increased output by 7.3 million metric tons, or 5.1%, from the same period last year, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reported.

Last month’s estimated production was also up sequentially, edging up by just 0.7%, or 1.1 million metric tons, versus August’s total crude steel output.

Ever since reaching an all-time high of 174.4 million metric tons in May 2021, global steel output has been widely inconsistent. After declining for 11 straight months through February, driven in large part by Chinese cutbacks, output then rose from March through May, led again by China.

Since then, production from around the world has fluctuated. But with September’s total output, production has edged up consecutively month-on-month (MoM). In August, eight of the top 10 global steel-producing nations saw production expand or remain even versus July. But September’s gain was driven almost single-handedly by China, as seven of the top 10 producing nations reported lower MoM output.

And when compared to the same year-ago period, eight out of 10 saw production totals decline — India and Iran were the two exceptions. When compared to the pre-pandemic period of September 2019, global crude steel production was up just 0.1%, or just 193,194 metric tons, last month.

China’s steel production in September totaled an estimated 87 million metric tons, up 3.1 million metric tons (+3.7%) MoM, and up 13.2 million metric tons (+17.9%) from the same year-ago period. Worldwide steel production, ex-China, totaled 64.7 million metric tons last month, down 5.9 million metric tons (-8.4%) compared to September 2021. Output was down 3% MoM in September, or 2 million metric tons less.

GCSP Sept22

Chinese steel output accounted for 57.4% of worldwide production in September, up 2.9 percentage points versus August.

Seven out of the top 10 global steel-producing countries saw production decline MoM in September. China reported the largest total tonnage gain versus August, followed by Iran (+600,000 metric tons, or +28.6%). Turkey’s output was unchanged MoM at 2.7 million metric tons in September. Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the US all saw output decline MoM.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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