World Steel Association: Global crude steel production down 0.9% in 2020

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China story steel production

Zhao Jiankang/AdobeStock

After global crude steel production rose for four consecutive years, output declined last year, the World Steel Association reported Tuesday.

Global crude steel production drops 0.9% in 2020

Global crude steel production fell by 0.9% in 2020 compared with 2019, the World Steel Association reported.

Production had increased every year from 2015-2019.

Output last year totaled 1.86 billion tons, down from 1.88 billion tons in 2019.

Mirroring its economic recovery compared with the rest of the world, China’s steel production remained strong compared with the rest of the world. China’s output rose from 1.0 billion tons in 2019 to 1.05 billion tons in 2020.

As such, China’s share of global output jumped from 53.3% to 56.5%.

India and Japan, the No. 2 and No. 3 steel producers, respectively, both saw their output decline in 2020. India’s fell by 10.6%, while Japan’s dropped by 16.2%.

Among the top 10 steel producers in the world, only China, Russia, Turkey and Iran posted year-over-year growth.

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U.S. steel output down 17.2%

The coronavirus pandemic dented demand last year in the U.S., but the restart of idled automotive production offered a much-needed boost.

U.S. crude steel production fell by 17.2% year over year in 2020 to 72.7 million tons.

As we’ve noted here throughout the second half of last year and into January, U.S. steel prices are on the rise and have showed no signs of stopping.

U.S. HRC closed Tuesday at $1,079 per short ton, or up 17.67% from the previous month.

Meanwhile, U.S. CRC reached $1,185 per short ton, or up 15.95%. U.S. HDG is up 18.32% to $1,350 per short ton.

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