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Steel output in China has dropped from one month to the next this summer.
Photo provided by iStock.

China’s cuts again affect global steel output

Steelmakers in China made 13.2 percent less steel this August compared with August 2020.

September 24, 2021

A summer of reduced steel output in China continued in August, with producers there making 13.2 percent less steel this August compared with August 2020. That month-on-month drop follows a similar pattern in July, when production in China dropped 8.4 percent compared with the year before, according to figures gathered by the Brussels-based World Steel Association (Worldsteel)

Perhaps more telling regarding the near-term future of Chinese steelmaking—which would be significantly impacted by a potential reduction in high-rise apartment tower construction—is that monthly output has dropped from one month to another this summer: 93.9 million metric tons made this June, 86.8 million this July and 83.2 million this August.

While China’s output dropped in August, most of the world’s other major steel-producing nations stayed on pace to serve economies continuing to rebound from a more severely COVID-19-impacted 2020.

Output in the United States was up 26.8 percent compared with August 2020. Leading ferrous scrap export destination Turkey saw output rise by 7.1 percent year-on-year this August, while India’s production grew by 8.2 percent.

China’s reduction helped produce a 7.2 percent drop within the Worldsteel Asia and Oceania region for this August compared with August 2020. In North America, meanwhile, output rose 24.4 percent, and in the European Union it was up by 27.1 percent comparing this August with last August.