Global steel tonnage remained nearly unchanged (+0.1%) from April to May 2023, with 161.6 million metric tons produced across the 63 nations reporting to the World Steel Assn. The figure for May also signifies a -5.1% year-to-year decrease in output, and it brings the global year-to-date total to 786.0 million metric tons produce, down -1.2% compared to the January-May 2022 result.
World Steel’s monthly summary of output represents 97.0% of global steel capacity. The report covers carbon steel produced in basic-oxygen or electric arc furnaces and cast into semi-finished forms like billets for bar and rod products; slabs for flat products; or blooms, for beam and pipe products. (Specialty and stainless steel volumes are not included.)The Association recently forecast 2023 steel demand will rise 2.3% in 2023 to 1.82 billion metric tons, and then will improve further by 1.7% to 1.85 billion metric tons for 2024.
The global result indicates rising production in major producer nations – but not in China, where steelmakers cut their output by -2.8% from April to 90.1 million metric tons during May. The new total is -7.3% lower than Chinese steelmakers produced in May 2022, and puts their YTD production total at 444.6 million metric tons, 1.6% above the five-month output for 2022.
Indian steel output has remained steadily in positive territory over the past two years, and it rose again in May – up 4.5% from April to 11.2 million metric tons for the latest month. That total is 4.1% higher than the May 2022 figure, and it brings the year-to-date total for Indian steel output to 56.4 million metric tons.
In Japan, May steel production totaled 7.6 million metric tons, up 5.3% from April but down -5.2% from May 2022. The YTD output total is 36.5 million tons, -5.3% lower than the result for January-May 2022.
U.S. steel production rose 4.3% from April to May, to 6.9 million metric tons (7.6 million short tons) in the latest monthly total. That figure is -2.3% lower than the May 2022 total, and it brings the current YTD total to 33.1 million metric tons (36.5 million short tons), down -3.4% from last year’s five-month result.