steel coils rolls
The steel industry globally has rebounded from COVID-19, although output in the U.S. has lagged.
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Worldsteel November figures portray steel rebound

Turkey, India join China in surpassing 2019 production levels; U.S. still lagging last year’s output.

December 23, 2020

November global steel production figures aggregated by the Brussels-based World Steel Association (Worldsteel) show the 64 nations reporting produced more than 158 million metric tons of steel in November 2020, a 6.6 percent increase compared with November 2019.

While China, the world’s largest steel producer, has been surpassing its 2019 monthly totals since the second quarter of 2020, other nations are showing signs of having rebounded to reach their pre-COVID-19 levels of output.

Turkey, the largest global importer of ferrous scrap, produced 3.2 million metric tons of steel in November 2020, up by 11.6 percent compared with November 2019.

In the European Union, the 3.4 million metric tons of steel made in Germany in November 2020 represents a 14.8 rise over what was produced in November 2019. Steelmakers in Italy made 3.2 percent more steel in November 2020 compared with November 2019, while those in France enjoyed a 3.7 percent year-on-year increase.

In the United States, where steel-intensive infrastructure funding has been slow to be used as economic stimulus, the 6.1 million metric tons of crude steel made in November 2020 represents a decrease of 13.7 percent compared with November 2019.

In Asia, China’s output of 87.7 million metric tons in November 2020 represents an increase of 8.0 percent compared with November 2019. India’s year-on-year November output rose by 3.5 percent, but production in Japan and South Korea continues to lag compared with 2019 output levels.

The rebound of steel production globally has caused both iron ore and ferrous scrap prices to spike in the final two months of 2019. The upward price pressure could continue if steel mills in the U.S. keep showing signs of ramping up output closer to pre-pandemic levels.