Global steel output falls in February

23rd March 2022

In February, monthly global crude steel output declined by 5.7%, year-on-year, to 142.7 million tonnes. This figure is also 14.1 million tonnes below the reported output for January 2022.

This decrease was primarily due to the reduction in output in China, which was 8.3 million tonnes less than in February 2021. Steelmakers have restricted supply to comply with the country’s latest environmental targets. In the first two months of 2022, Chinese crude steel output was down by 10%.

Production also fell in Japan and South Korea, by 2.3% and 6%, respectively. Overall, the outturn in the Asia and Oceania region declined by 7.1%, compared with the figure in the previous year.

Another leading cause of the global decline was the reduction in European crude steel output. Production within the twenty-seven member states of the European Union, last month, was a combined 11.7 million tonnes. This represents a 2.5% reduction in output, year-on-year.

Liquid steel melting in Germany, the region’s largest producer by volume, bucked this trend. Its output increased by 3.8% relative to February 2021, to 3.2 million tonnes.

Production in the rest of Europe, which includes steelmakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, declined. These nations produced 3.8 million tonnes, in February. Turkish mills accounted for more than three quarters of this total – manufacturing 3.0 million tonnes.

Steelmaking in the CIS also decreased, last month. Russian output is estimated at 5.8 million tonnes – down 1.4% year-on-year. Producers in the rest of the region added a further 1.9 million tonnes.

South American nations produced 7% less material, in February, than in the same month in 2021. This was primarily due to the reduction in supply from Brazilian steelmakers, which fell to 2.7 million tonnes. Output from other countries on the continent remained broadly level.

Other regions saw an increase in production, last month. In the United States, steelmaking reached 6.4 million tonnes – up 1.4% from the February 2021 figure. Overall, production in North America rose by 1.8% to 8.8 million tonnes.

Indian crude steel output continued its upward trend, rising 7.6%, year-on-year, in February. This marks the third month in a row where the country’s production was greater than 10 million tonnes. Iranian volumes also increased, to an estimated 2.5 million tonnes, contributing to the 3.5 million tonnes total for the Middle East region.

The figures in this article are supplied by worldsteel.