Global steel production update: China’s real estate crisis and manufacturing slowdown lead to worst-ever three-year decline in Chinese steel production after years of rapid growth

US crude steel production declines further. Nucor Steel rises to 15th in the world. US Steel, 24th, is acquired by 4th-placed Nippon Steel.

From WOLF STREET by Wolf Richter.

China, which produces more than half of the world’s crude steel (ingots, semi-finished products (billets, blooms, slabs) and liquid steel for casting), is dealing with a more or less controlled collapse of its real estate development sector, which was once a major contributor to overall economic growth. Construction is a big consumer of steel, and it is also seeing a slowdown in manufacturing.

According to the latest data from the World Steel Association, China’s crude steel production is expected to fall 4.3% since its 2020 peak to 1.019 billion tonnes (Mt) in 2023, the worst three-year decline in data since 1996, a period characterised by primarily rapid growth rates.

China’s crude steel production (most of which goes to domestic manufacturing and construction rather than export) saw strong year-over-year growth in most years, even when global steel production fell sharply during the global financial crisis, with the exception of the period from 2014 to 2016, when the government tried to crack down on overcapacity. Over those three years, steel production fell a total of 1.8%, the first decline since 1996 data.

In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s steel production surged by 22% year-on-year as the world locked down parts of its economy. However, production declined in 2021 and 2022 due to a crisis in China’s real estate development sector (construction) and a slowdown in manufacturing. And in 2023, the same situation as 2022 was repeated. China’s steel production fell by 4.3% from its 2020 peak. The graph shows the growth rate over the three years.

Global Production Crude steel demand is expected to grow slightly to 1,892 Mt in 2023, despite the situation in China.

China vs. the Rest of the World.

Since 2000, global crude steel production has increased by 123%, mainly due to a large increase in production in China. During this period, China’s crude steel production…

  • China is 8 times bigger! (Red)
  • North America (US, Canada, Mexico) down 19% (blue)
  • Rest of the World Without it China and Without it North America increased by 30% (green).

North American crude steel production fell to 110 million tonnes, the same level as 2015 and 2016, and below 1996 levels.

U.S. production remained unchanged from 2022 at 81 million tonnes, accounting for 74% of North American production.

In the rest of the world, excluding China and North America, steel production is expected to rise slightly to 763 million tonnes in 2023 after declining the previous year.

China’s share of steel production In 2023, it’s 53.9%, the same as in 2022 but down from a peak of 57.1% in 2020.

North America’s share has been declining steadily over the long term, falling to 5.8% in 2023, the second-lowest level on record after 2020.

Top 20 countries by crude steel production.

China’s production (1,019 Mt, world No. 1) is seven times higher than India’s (141 Mt, world No. 2), which has surged 40% since 2017. The United States is fourth, producing one-twelfth as much as China (North American countries are shown in red).

Top 20 Steel Producers.

Nucor, the largest U.S. steelmaker, has risen from 16th in global rankings in 2022 to 15th in 2023. The next two steelmakers, Cleveland-Cliffs and U.S. Steel, are ranked 22nd and 24th in the world, respectively. U.S. Steel is set to be acquired by Nippon Steel Corporation, ranked 4th in the world. The acquisition could propel Nippon Steel to third place.

Eleven of the top 20 are Chinese companies. The second-largest producer, ArcelorMittal, is a product of India’s Mittal Steel, which bought France’s Arcelor, and is registered in Luxembourg and operated from India.

Top 20 Steel Producers mount
1 China Baowu Group China 130.8
2 ArcelorMittal (including 60% of AM/NS India) Luxembourg, India 68.5
3 Ansteel Group (including Benxi) China 55.9
Four Nippon Steel Corporation Japan 43.7
Five HBIS Group China 41.3
6 Shagang Group China 40.5
7 POSCO Holdings South Korea 38.4
8 Kenryu Group China 37.0
9 Shougang Group China 33.6
Ten Tata Steel India 29.5
11 Delong Steel China 28.3
12 JSW Steel Corporation India 26.2
13 JFE Steel Corporation Japan 25.1
14 Hunan Steel Group China 24.8
15 Nucore Corporation united states of america 21.2
16 Fangda Steel China 19.6
17 Shandong Iron and Steel Group China 19.5
18 Modern Steel South Korea 19.2
19 Steel Authority of India (SAIL) India 19.2
20 Rizhao Steel China 18.7
twenty two Cleveland Cliffs united states of america 17.3
twenty four United States Steel united states of america 15.8

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support us? You can donate, we’d be so grateful! Click on Beer and Iced Tea Mugs to find out how.

Want to be notified by email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

#Global #steel #production #update #Chinas #real #estate #crisis #manufacturing #slowdown #lead #worstever #threeyear #decline #Chinese #steel #production #years #rapid #growth

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top