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World Steel Production Report

ISSB Monthly World Steel Production Review


Total crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association in January 2011 was estimated to be 119 million tonnes, an increase of 5.3% on January 2010. If China is excluded, the remaining 63 countries showed a 9.5% rise in crude steel production. All regions showed an increase in steel production, but several countries recorded a drop in production in January.

In the European Union crude steel production for the 27 in January rose by 4% on January 2010 to 14.2 million tonnes. In Germany steel production was up 4.4% to nearly 3.7 million tonnes, while Italian production increased by 10.3% to 2.1 million tonnes. Spanish steel production rose by 4.1% to 1.4 million tonnes, and French steel production was up by 7.6% to 1.2 million tonnes. In the UK, however, production decreased by 9.4% to 900 thousand tonnes. Slovakia showed the largest rise at 25% to 425 thousand tonnes.

Outside of the European Union, steel production in Turkey increased by 33% to 2.7 million tonnes, while in Serbia production was 10% up at 150 thousand tonnes. Turkish steel production has been growing since early in 2010 leading to a 15% rise on the 2009 total to 29 million tonnes in 2010, making it the tenth largest steel producer in the world behind Brazil but ahead of Italy. Steel demand in Turkey has been rising due primarily to its booming construction industry.

Registrations of new cars in Europe showed a decrease of 1.1% in January 2011, although three quarters of the countries recorded an increase. German registrations rose by 16.5% to 211 thousand units, while French registrations increased by 8.2% to 185 thousand units. In Italy registrations actually fell by 20% to 164 thousand units, while in the UK they fell by 11.5% to 129 thousand units. In Holland registrations were up 20% to 75 thousand units, while in Spain the total dropped by 23.5% to 54 thousand units.

In Russia crude steel production was 15% up compared to January 2010 to 5.9 million tonnes, with Ukrainian production up by 10% to 3.1 million tonnes. Steel production in Kazakhstan jumped by 34%.

In North America January crude steel production increased by 7.4%, with US production up by 9.4% to 6.8 million tonnes. Canadian steel production rose by 5.5% to 1.1 million tonnes, while Mexican production fell very slightly to 1.4 million tonnes. South American crude steel production increased by 9% in January, with Brazilian production up by 3.8% to 2.8 million tonnes. Argentinian steel production jumped by 22.7% to 415 thousand tonnes, while Venezuelan production showed a near 60% rise to 265 thousand tonnes.

In Africa and the Middle East steel production was estimated to be about 3 million tonnes in January, only about 4% up on the previous January. However, in Iran, the largest producer in the Middle East, production increased by 16% on January 2010 to 1.1 million tonnes. South Africa's production only rose by 2.8% to 730 thousand tonnes. Egypt's January total was 564 thousand tonnes, 6.2% higher than the previous January, while in Saudi Arabia steel production actually fell by 18% to 385 thousand tonnes.

Asian crude steel production for the five major countries in January was 3.3% up, although China's increase was only 0.5% to 52.8 million tonnes. Japanese steel production rose by 10.7% to 9.7 million tonnes, while South Korean production jumped by 24% to 5.6 million tonnes. Indian steel production, however, fell by 0.6% to 5.6 million tonnes. In Taiwan steel production showed a 10.7% increase to 1.7 million tonnes.

Over 92 million tonnes of ferrous scrap was traded around the world in 2010, up from 88 million tonnes in 2009. While the USA remains by far the largest exporter of ferrous scrap in the world at 20.6 million tonnes in 2010, this was actually 8% down on its 2009 total. Japan's scrap exports fell from 9.4 million tonnes in 2009 to 6.5 million in 2010. However, Germany increased its scrap exports from 7.5 million tonnes to 9.2 million tonnes in 2010. 62% of US exports of scrap in 2010 went to Asian countries, down from 72% the year before. Turkey accounted for 21%, up from 16% in 2009. Turkey was the largest market for US scrap followed by China, South Korea and Taiwan. However, exports to China halved from 6.2 to 3.2 million tonnes in 2010 as China increased its use of domestic arisings. The largest importer of scrap in the world was Turkey which imported 19.1 million tonnes in 2010, an increase of 22% on 2009. China's imports dropped from 13.7 million tonnes in 2009 to only 5.8 million tonnes in 2010 as they increased the use of domestic arisings. South Korean scrap imports were 8.1 million tonnes in 2010, up from 7.8 million tonnes in 2009. The USA accounted for 22% of Turkish imports of scrap in 2010, while the 27 EU countries supplied 55% of their imports. Russia supplied a further 8%.

Phil Hunt

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