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World Steel Production Report

ISSB Monthly World Steel Production Review


The World Steel Association estimated global crude steel production to be 1414 million tonnes in 2010, 15% up on the annual 2009 total of 1229 million tonnes and the highest total ever. However, China accounted for 44% of this total, and the annual total excluding China rose by 20% compared to 2009. The higher rise by countries other than China was helped by a 25% rise in Japan's crude steel production and a 38.5% increase in the US total. The December crude steel production for the 66 monthly reporting countries increased by 7.8% to 116 million tonnes.

European Union
Total crude steel production for the 27 countries of the European Union in December was 8.4% up, while the annual total rose by 24.5% to 173 million tonnes, 12.2% of the world total. The 2010 total was still 18.6% below the peak year of 2007. Germany made 25% of the EU total at 43.8 million tonnes, a jump of 34% on 2009, with the December total up by 4.6%. Italian steel production was 31.6% up in December with an increase of 30% in the year to 25.8 million tonnes. Spanish December production only showed a slight increase, bringing the year to date total up 13.6% to 16.3 million tonnes. French steel production rose by 2.2% in December making the year total 15.4 million tonnes which was 20% higher than in 2009. Steel production in the UK, however, fell by 32% in December bringing the year to date total down by 3.7% to 9.7 million tonnes. The 12 months total in Belgium rose by 43.5% to 8.1 million tonnes, just ahead of the Polish total of 8.0 million tonnes which was up by 12.3%.

Other Europe
In Turkey, the largest West European steel producer outside the European Union, crude steel production was 29 million tonnes, an increase of 14.6% compared to 2009, while the December total increased by 26.5%. Turkey was the seventh largest steel exporter in 2010, although its exports fell by 6.8% compared to 2009. This was because exports of rebar fell from 8.6 to 6 million tonnes. Switzerland's annual steel production was just over 1.3 million tonnes, 42.5% up on the previous year, while Serbian steel production was just under 1.3 million tonnes in 2010, 18% higher than in 2009. Norway's total actually fell by 13% to 514 thousand tonnes. However, Bosnia's annual total was 14% up at 593 thousand tonnes.

European car registrations decreased by 5% in 2010 compared to the previous year according to ACEA, at 13.8 million cars, down from 14.5 million. German registrations, however, decreased by 23% to 2.9 million cars, while the French total fell by 2.2% to 2.25 million cars. Italian registrations were 9.2% down at just under 2 million cars, while in the UK registrations actually rose by 1.8% to 2.0 million cars. Spanish registrations also increased by 3% to 982 thousand cars. These five countries accounted for 74% of the European total.

The CIS countries
The countries of the former USSR showed an increase of 11% in crude steel production with the overall total up to 108 million tonnes, 7.7% of world production. Russian steel production was only 7.4% higher in December, although the year to date total was 11.7% up at 67 million tonnes making it the fourth largest producer in the world just ahead of India. Ukrainian December production increased by 11% bringing the annual total up by 12.4% to 33.6 million tonnes. Steel production in Kazakhstan rose by 4.1% in 2010 to 4.3 million tonnes, with production in Belarus up 5% to 2.5 million tonnes.

North America
North America accounted for 7.9% of the world's total, with production in the USA increasing by 38.5% in the year to date to 80 million tonnes. The US December production showed an increase of 15% on December 2009. Canadian annual crude steel production was 40% up at 13 million tonnes, while the December month total was up by 16.6%. Mexican December production rose by 22%, and the year total also increased by 22% to 17 million tonnes. In Trinidad and Tobago the annual total rose by 37% to 572 thousand tonnes.

South America
In South America, crude steel production actually fell by 4% in December, with the full year up 16% to 43.8 million tonnes, 3.1% of world production. Brazilian annual steel production rose by 24% to 32.8 million tonnes, but the December total fell by 6.7%. Argentinian steel production rose by 5% in the month, but the annual total was up by 28% to 5.1 million tonnes. Venezuelan production, however, was down 16% in December, bringing the annual total down by 41% to 2.2 million tonnes. Annual steel production in Colombia increased by 15% to 1.2 million tonnes, while in Chile it actually fell by 24% to just under one million tonnes. In Peru steel production was 22.5% up at 879 thousand tonnes.

Africa and the Middle East
Steel production in Africa and the Middle East accounted for 2.6% of the world total. African production was 15% up at 17.5 million tonnes in 2010, while in the Middle East it rose by 11% to 19.6 million tonnes. Iran was the largest producer in the region with production increasing by 10% to 12 million tonnes. South Africa's steel production rose by 13% to 8.5 million tonnes. Egypt's annual total showed an increase of 20% to 6.7 million tonnes, while Saudi Arabian steel production only rose by 7% to 5 million tonnes. Qatar made 2 million tonnes of steel in 2010, 36% up on the previous year. Libya's production fell by 10% to 825 thousand tonnes, while the total for Algeria total jumped by 85% to 715 thousand tonnes.

Crude steel production in the Asian countries increased by 6.2% in December, and by 11.6% in the year to 898 million tonnes, 63.5% of world production. China's December production was 6.3% up, bringing the year to date total up by 9.3% to nearly 627 million tonnes, the highest annual crude steel production ever. Japan's annual crude steel production was 25% up at 109.6 million tonnes, while the monthly total increased by 2.5%. India increased its annual production by 6.4% to nearly 67 million tonnes, just a little less than the Russian total. India's monthly total, however, was actually down 1.8%. Korean steel production in December rose by 24%, but the year to date total increased by 20% to 58.5 million tonnes in 2010. Crude steel production in Taiwan rose by 4% in December, and by 24% in the year to 19.6 million tonnes. Australia's annual total increased by 39% to 7.3 million tonnes.

Trade in steel significantly increased in 2010 compared to 2009 with Japanese exports rising by 28% to 42.7 million tonnes, and Chinese exports increasing by 74% to 41.6 million tonnes. The third largest exporting country, Russia, exported 28.5 million tonnes of steel, a rise of just 3.3%. One of the few countries whose steel exports declined was Turkey where they fell by 6.8% to 16.2 million tonnes. UK exports are also forecast to decline by 2% in 2010.

Japanese steel exports in 2010 reached their highest level ever at 42.7 million tonnes, of which 83% went to other Asian countries, up from 66% the year before. South Korea was their largest market taking 10.9 million tonnes followed by China at 7.4 million tonnes; Thailand was the third largest market at 4.8 million tonnes. Hot rolled wide coil accounted for over one quarter of the steel exported and coated sheet and strip a further 14%. CR exports were 12.7% of the total and semis accounted for 12%.

Chinese exports were only just below Japan's at 41.6 million tonnes. Only 57% of Chinese exports went to other Asian countries, although this was up from 31.6% in 2009. South Korea was by far their largest market at 8.4 million tonnes followed by India at 3.4 million tonnes. The European Union accounted for a further 3.8 million tonnes, 9% of the total, and the Middle East took 3.4 million tonnes, some 8% of the total.

Phil Hunt

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