Worldsteel: China Pulls Global Steel Output Down in October

Written by David Schollaert

Global crude steel production was estimated at 147.3 million metric tons in October as output was up by 1.6 million metric tons — 1.1% higher than the same period last year, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reported.

Last month’s estimated production was down sequentially, however, declining by 2.9%, or by 4.4 million metric tons from September’s total crude steel output.

After reaching an all-time high of 174.4 million metric tons in May 2021, global steel output has varied. The lack of consistency has been heavily determined by Chinese production. After declining for 11 straight months through February, driven primarily by Chinese cutbacks, global output then rose from March through May, led again by China.

Since then, production around the world has fluctuated. October’s total global output fell, driven almost exclusively by China, after production edged up consecutively in August and September.

Last month, nine of the top 10 steel-producing nations saw production expand versus September. October’s overall fall was caused single-handedly by China’s 8.3% month-on-month (MoM) production decline.

When compared to the same year-ago period, though, seven out of 10 saw production totals decline — China, India, and Iran were the only exceptions. When compared to the pre-pandemic period of October 2019, global crude steel production was down 1.9%, or by 2.8 million metric tons, last month.

China’s steel production in October totaled an estimated 79.8 million metric tons, down 7.2 million metric tons (-8.3%) MoM, and down 7 million metric tons (-8.1%) from the same year-ago period. Worldwide steel production, ex-China, totaled 67.5 million metric tons last month, down 6.6 million metric tons (-8.9%) compared to October 2021. Output was up 4.3% MoM in October, or by 2.8 million metric tons.

GCSP Oct22

Chinese steel output accounted for 54.2% of worldwide production in October, down 3.2 percentage points versus September.

Nine out of the top 10 global steel-producing countries saw production increase from September to October. China was the sole nation to report a MoM decline. India posted the largest per ton gain MoM in October, up 600,000 metric tons (+6.1%), followed by South Korea (+500,000 metric tons, or +10.9%), Germany (+300,000 metric tons, or +10.7%, Turkey (+200,000 metric tons, or +7.4%), and India (+200,000 metric tons, or +6.1%) to round out the top five. The US saw production increase by 100,000 metric tons, or +1.5% last month.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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