Global steel output declines 2.4% in April as China disappoints

Global crude steel fell 2.4 percent in April as China again fell in production compared to the same period last year. According to the World Steel Association (worldsteel), production in the 63 reporting countries fell to 161.4 million tons from 162.7 million tons in April 2022.

China, the largest producer, produced 92.6 metric tons, down 1.5 percent compared to the same period last year. China produced 95.7 million tons in March, up 6.9 percent from March 2022.

India recorded a 3.2 percent increase in production at 10.7 million tons. However, it was less than the 11.4 metric tons produced in March 2023.

Chipsets produced by the United States and Japan

Steel production in Japan and the United States decreased by 3.1 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, at 7.2 million tons and 6.6 million tons. Russian production was pegged at 6.4 million tons, up 1.9 percent year-on-year.

South Korea’s production increased by 3 percent at 5.7 million tons while Germany’s production decreased by 3.8 percent at 3.2 million tons. Brazil’s production fell 5.9 percent to 2.8 million tons, but Iran recorded an increase of 5.9 percent, at 3.1 million tons.

In the January-April period, production in 63 countries which account for 97 percent of global steel production was pegged at 622.7 million tonnes, down 0.3 percent.

In its short-term outlook released last month, World Steel said worldwide steel demand would grow by 2.3 percent in 2023 and 1.7 percent in 2024 to reach 1,822 tons and 1,854 tons, respectively. It added that manufacturing is expected to lead the recovery, but higher interest rates will continue to weigh on steel demand.

Commenting on the outlook, Maximo Vidoya, CEO of Ternium and chair of the Global Steel Economics Committee, said, “Continuous inflation and high interest rates in most economies will limit the recovery in steel demand in 2023, despite positive factors such as the reopening of China, and Europe’s resilience. In the face of the energy crisis, ease supply chain bottlenecks.