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Global Steel Production Down 0.9 Percent in 2020

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For the first time since 2015, global steel production declined in 2020 compared with the prior year, the World Steel Association reported. Global production last year totaled 1.86 billion tons, a 0.9 percent decline from 2019.

Production in North America declined substantially, with all three major producers experiencing major drops. The U.S. produced 72.7 million tons, down 17.2 percent. In the fourth quarter, U.S. production declined 11.8 percent to 6.4 million tons.

Canadian production in 2020 declined 14.1 percent to 11.1 million tons, while December production of 1.1 million tons was down 2 percent. Mexico produced 16.9 million tons in 2020, an 8.3 percent decline, while fourth-quarter production increased 13.9 percent to 1.6 million tons.

As is customary, China’s steel production defied the global trends, increasing 5.2 percent to 1.1 billion tons in 2020. China’s share of global crude steel production increased from 53.3 percent in 2019 to 56.6 percent last year.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indian production declined 10.6 percent in 2020 to 99.6 million tons. Japan produced 83.2 million tons, a 16.2 percent decline, and South Korean production of 67.1 million tons was down 6 percent from 2019.

The EU produced 138.8 million tons of crude steel in 2020, a decrease of 11.8 percent compared with 2019. Germany was the leading producer at 35.7 million tons, down 10 percent from the prior year.

Russian production increased 2.6 percent to 73.4 million tons in 2020. Turkish steel companies also grew output in 2020, with its 35.8 million tons increasing 6 percent.

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