Hasbi Sahin | Dreamstime
Steel warehouse with rebar stockpile.

Global Steel Tonnage Draws Even for 2023

Jan. 29, 2024
With 1.85 billion metric tons of steel produced worldwide during the past year, steelmakers appear to have aligned output with the weakened industrial and construction activities prevailing from January through December.

Global steel output for 2023 was virtually unchanged (-0.1%) versus 2022, according to the final monthly summary from the World Steel Association. Steelmakers in 71 countries produced 1.85 billion metric tons of raw steel, evidently restraining their outputs in the face of weak industrial and construction demand.

Total 2022 production was 1.875 billion metric tons, -4.2% less than 2021 and the first annual decrease in production since 2015.

World Steel’s monthly raw-steel production report summarizes output from nations representing 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.)

In October World Steel forecast global steel consumption for 2023 demand would grow just +1.8% over 2022, to 1.814 billion metric tons. That consumption target apparently coincides with the final 2023 tonnage, indicating a concerted effort by producers to minimize excess supplies and stabilize steel prices.

World Steel also forecasts steel demand will rise +1.9% year-over-year for 2024, to 1.849 billion metric tons.

Among the largest producer nations, only number-two India delivered a notable increase in year-over-year production (+12.1%), while number-five Russia’s increase (+5.6%) achieved a recovery from the 2022 results that suffered the disruption of war and a boycott on Russian products.

The Chinese steel industry, which is the world’s largest, produced 1.02 billion metric tons during 2023 – more than 60% of the world total for the year. Although the industry reported a considerable drop in activity during December, the 12-month total was +1.5% higher than the 2022 result.

Indian producers, who have countered the global trend throughout the past 12 months, produced 140.2 million metric tons during 2023, 11.8% more than the January-December 2022 total.

In Japan, steelmakers produced 87.0 million metric tons during 2023, -2.5% less than the previous year’s total.

U.S. steelmakers’ 2023 output totaled 80.7 million metric tons (88.9 million short tons), just +0.2% more than their 2022 tonnage.

The Russian industry delivered 75.8 million metric tons during 2023, +5.6% more than during the prior year.

As for the remaining top-10 steelmaking nations: South Korea produced 66.7 million metric tons, up +1.3% over 2022); Germany produced 35.4 million metric tons (-3.9%); Turkey produced 33.7 million metric tons (-4.0%); Brazil produced 31.9 million metric tons (-6.5%); and Iran produced 31.1 million metric tons (+1.8%.)

Latest from News

Artinun Prekmoung | Dreamstime
Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime
Dimarik16 | Dreamstime