gui yong nian/Adobe Stock
The World Steel Association released its 2017 annual crude steel report on Wednesday, which showed steel output increases in almost every part of the world last year.
According to the report, the 1,691.2 million tons (MT) produced last year marked a 5.3% increase from the previous year. Crude steel output increased everywhere except the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the region including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and associate members Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Chinese Share of Global Output Rises
Annual production for Asia was 1,162.5 MT of crude steel in 2017, an increase of 5.4% compared to 2016.
China’s crude steel production hit 831.7 MT, up by 5.7% on 2016. In addition, China’s share of world crude steel production increased from 49.0% in 2016 to 49.2% in 2017, according to the report.
Japan produced 104.7 MT in 2017, a 0.1% drop compared to 2016, while India’s crude steel production was 101.4 MT, up by 6.2% on 2016. South Korea produced 71.1 MT of crude steel in 2017, an increase of 3.7% compared to 2016.
U.S. Steel Output Jumps 4.0%
Meanwhile, in North America, total crude steel production was up 4.8% to 116.0 MT. The U.S. alone produced 81.6 MT, good for a 4.0% increase from the previous year.
In South America, crude steel output rose 8.7% to 43.7 MT, paced by Brazil’s 9.9% increase to 34.3 MT.
China Leads the Way, but Capacity Closures Will Tighten Supply
Not surprisingly, China once again dominated the global stage in steel production, churning out just under half of the world’s supply.
China led the way with its 831.7 MT output. However, capacity cuts will likely see that number drop going forward. The state-led capacity closures dating back to November aim to reduce pollution in the country.
In fact, according to a poll of analysts responding to a Financial Times survey, Chinese steel output is expected to grow by just 0.6% this year — a far cry from the 5.7% increase from 2016 to 2017. Some have expressed concerns that the capacity closures will simply be canceled out by new capacity starts — on paper, though, the Chinese government’s stated capacity closure agenda will do much toward bringing global output numbers down.
In that vein, China’s average daily steel output fell by 1.9% in December, Reuters reported last week.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10, in descending order, were:
- Japan: 104.7 MT
- India: 101.4 MT
- U.S.: 81.6 MT
- Russia: 71.3 MT
- South Korea: 71.1 MT
- Germany: 43.6 MT
- Turkey: 37.5 MT
- Brazil: 34.4 MT
- Italy: 24.0 MT