According to the statistics released by the World Steel Association on April 21, the total crude steel output of the 63 countries and regions included in the statistics of the World Steel Association in March 2023 was 165.1 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 1.7%, and the first positive growth since October 2022. These 63 countries and regions are estimated to account for 97 percent of global crude steel production in 2022.
By region, Africa saw the biggest year-on-year increase in crude steel production in March, while the Middle East saw the biggest year-on-year decline, with Russia and other CIS countries plus Ukraine registering positive year-on-year crude steel production in March for the first time since February 2022.
Asia and Oceania together produced 124.8 million tonnes of crude steel in March, up 4.1 per cent from a year earlier. Among them, China’s crude steel output was 95.73 million tons, up 6.9 percent year on year. India produced 11.4 million tonnes of crude steel in March, up 2.7 per cent from a year earlier. Japan produced 7.5m tonnes of crude steel in March, down 5.9 per cent from a year earlier and the 16th straight month of year-on-year declines, largely due to a slowdown in domestic manufacturing. Japan’s manufacturing sector has been in contraction from November 2022 to March 2023, with S&P Global Commodity Insight’s PMI reading of 49.2 in March. The negative trend is expected to continue until April-June this year, the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry forecast. South Korea produced 5.8 million tonnes of crude steel in March, up 1.9 per cent from a year earlier.
Crude steel production in the 27-nation European Union fell 5.6 percent year on year to 11.9 million tonnes in March. Of this, German crude steel production was estimated at 3.3 million tonnes, down 0.5 per cent year on year and the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year decline. Crude steel production in the rest of Europe fell 14.1 per cent year on year to 3.5 million tonnes in March, with Turkey producing 2.7 million tonnes, down 18.6 per cent. Among the top 10 steel producers, Turkey suffered the biggest year-on-year drop in crude steel production in March due to the earthquake, but its output was 29 per cent higher than in February as mills resumed production after the quake. According to Turkey’s statistics agency (TUIK), the country’s seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index surged to 87.5 points in April, up 9.2 percent month-on-month and 30.1 percent year on year, rising to its highest level since August 2018.
Crude steel production in North America fell 2.6 per cent year on year to 9.3 million tonnes in March, with the US down 2.1 per cent to 6.7 million tonnes. Crude steel production in South America fell 7.6% to 3.5 million tonnes, with Brazil producing 2.7 million tonnes, down 8.7%. While Brazilian steel production continued to decline year-on-year in March, steel demand and domestic sales improved. Apparent steel consumption in Brazil rose 5 per cent year on year to 2.2m tonnes in March, driven by a 1 per cent year-on-year increase in domestic sales to 1.9m tonnes. The Brazilian steel industry confidence index rose 9 points month-on-month to 41.7 points in April, remaining below the 50.0 level, indicating a continued lack of confidence in the steel industry at the beginning of the second quarter.
Russia and other CIS countries plus Ukraine produced 7.6 million tons of crude steel in March, up 3.0% year on year. Of this, Russian production is estimated at 6.6 million tonnes, up 0.4 per cent year on year.
Crude steel production in the Middle East was 3.1 million tonnes in March, down 17.5 per cent from a year earlier.
In the first three months of this year, the total crude steel output of 63 countries and regions included in the World Steel Association’s statistics was 459.3 million tons, down 0.1% year on year. Among them, the combined output of Asia and Oceania was 345.6 million tons, up 3.4% year on year; The European Union produced 33.1 million tons of crude steel, down 10.1% year on year; Crude steel production in North America was 26.8 million tons, down 4.1% year on year; Crude steel production in South America was 10.3 million tonnes, down 4.5 per cent year on year; Crude steel output from Russia and other CIS countries plus Ukraine was 21.4 million tons, down 11.8% year on year. Crude steel production in Africa was 3.7 million tonnes, down 2.6 per cent year-on-year. Italy overtook Iran to become the world’s top 10 steelmakers in the January-March period, ranking 10th in output.