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Annual global steel production nears 2 000 million tonnes

Total world crude steel production as reported by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) during 2021 was 1 950.5 million tonnes in 2021, a 3.7% increase on 2020.

As ever, the numbers are dominated by China whose total production of 1 032.8 million tonnes was 3% down on 2020. The next three largest producers all reported significant annual increases: India (17.8%); Japan (15.8%) and the US (18.3%).

The individual total for December 2021 was 158.7 million tonnes, a 3.0% decrease compared to December a year earlier.

Breaking down the numbers to individual countries, China produced 86.2 million tonnes in December 2021, down 6.8% on December 2020. India produced 10.4 million tonnes (+ 0.9%); Japan 7.9 million tonnes (+ 5.4%); the United States 7.2 million tonnes (+ 11.9%). Turkey’s total of 3.3 million tonnes was down 2.3%.

Worldsteel’s previous two reports show crude steel production in November was 143.3 million tonnes, a 9.9% decrease compared to November 2020, while the October total was 145.7 million tonnes, down 10.6% compared to October 2020.

Meanwhile the latest customs data from China shows a big jump in imports of ferrous scrap in 2021. The country imported more than 550 000 tonnes compared to little more than nil the year before. Of this, 70% came from Japan and nearly 20% from South Korea.

It was only at the end of 2020 that China relaxed restrictions on ferrous scrap which had been in place for two years.

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