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Global steel production rises in May

  • Market: Metals
  • 23/06/21

Global steel production climbed by 16.5pc in May from the same time a year earlier, led by gains across all major regions.

Steel production from 64 countries climbed to 174.4mn metric tonnes in May from just under 150mn t a year earlier, according to data from the World Steel Association.

Although rising at the slowest pace among the top 10 countries, Chinese steel output rose by 7pc to 99.5mn t for the month and accounted for 57pc of total output.

Growth was steepest in the US, India and Japan, whose production figures generally compare worst to May 2020, when Covid-19 slowdowns were still felt.

US steel production rose by 48pc to 7.2mn t for the month, while Indian figures were 9.2mn t compared with 6.2mn t a year earlier. Japanese steel production totaled 8.4mn t in May, up by 42pc from a year earlier.

Only slightly lower increases were registered in Turkey, Brazil and Germany.

For the year to date, global production was up by 14.5pc to 837.5mn t. Asia and Oceania accounted for the largest share of production, which was up by 15pc to 616.5mn t. The 27 EU countries took second place with a 15pc increase on 64.4mn t. North American production rose by 11pc to 48mn t so far through 2021.

Demand for steel has improved over the last few months as the global economies exit Covid-19 lockdowns and activity gradually returns to more normal levels. As a result, a rising steel price complex has contributed higher production rates.

Argus assessed hot-rolled coil (HRC) fob Tianjin at $894/t on 23 June, up from $438/t a year earlier. US Midwest HRC prices rose to $1,854.64/t from $545.09/t. Argus' Italian cif HRC price rose to €960/t on 17 June from €395/t a year earlier, while Turkish prices climbed to $1,100/t on 18 June from $435/t at the same time last year.

Global Steel productionMn t
May 2021change (pc)YTD 2021change (pc)
Countries
China99.56.6473.113.9
India9.246.948.633.6
Japan8.442.240.09.1
US7.247.634.810.6
Russia6.6 e14.031.97.9
South Korea6.0 e10.529.36.9
Germany3.5 e35.517.013.6
Turkey3.242.416.321.2
Brazil3.240.114.920.3
Iran2.6 e7.712.59.2

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