by Wolf Richter
China produced 57% of global crude steel, turned nearly all into finished steel products that it exported or used in domestic manufacturing and construction. The annual steel report is out.
Global production of crude steel – ingots, semi-finished products (billets, blooms, slabs), and liquid steel for castings – ticked up just 0.5% in the year 2020, to 1,878 million metric tonnes (Mt), according to the World Steel Association’s 2021 World Steel report today. The 0.5% gain came in two slices: China boosted production and gained a chunk of market share; the rest of the world lost production and market share.
Since 1995, there have been only three periods when annual crude steel production fell: The Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 (-2.7%); the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 (-7.8%); and in 2015 (-3.0%), when China made a short-lived effort to get a grip on the money-losing overproduction at its steel makers that are supported and often controlled by various government entities: