Figures released by the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the Brussels-based Worldsteel Association portray a global steel industry with continually rising output in 2021.
In the United States, AISI says in the week ending June 19, domestic raw steel production of just under 1.84 million tons was produced at mills operating at an 82.9 percent capability utilization (capacity) rate.
That figure is up by 0.3 percent from the previous week and by a whopping 44.6 percent compared with the comparable week in 2020, when COVID-19 impacts were widespread in the U.S. economy. In mid-June 2020, mills were operating at just 56.8 percent of capacity.
Year-to-date output of 43.2 million tons in 2021 represents a 14.2 percent increase from the 37.8 million tons produced in the comparable timeframe in 2020.
Globally through the month of May, crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to Worldsteel checked in at 837.5 million metric tons. That represents a 14.5 percent increase over the amount of steel produced in the first five months of 2020.
Global output in the month of May rose 16.5 percent compared with May 2020. Steel production in Europe, the Americas and Africa in May 2021 rose from 33 to 65 percent compared with May 2020, when restrictions in many nations were at their most stringent.
Year-to-date, steelmakers in Turkey have produced 21.2 percent more steel than they did in the first five months of 2020, while steelmakers in India have churned out 33.6 percent more product. The two nations provide steady export markets for American ferrous scrap processors.