The World Steel Association (Worldsteel), Brussels, reports that global steel production topped 1.63 billion metric tons in 2016, a modest 0.8 percent increase from 2015’s steel production total.
Worldsteel represents more than 160 steel producers (including 9 of the world's 10 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations and steel research institutes. The nonprofit represents about 85 percent of world steel production.
Leading the way in 2016 was steel production in Asia, which increased 1.6 percent to 1.13 billion metric tons. Production of crude steel in China, the world’s largest steel producer, reached 808.4 million metric tons, a 1.2 percent increase from 2015’s crude steel production. With the increase, China is now producing 49.6 percent of the world’s steel.
Other steel-producing countries of note include Japan, which produced 104.8 million metric tons in 2016, a decline of 0.3 percent from 2015; India, where crude steel production for the year was 95.6 million metric tons, up by 7.4 percent from the prior year; and South Korea, which produced 68.6 million metric tons, a 1.6 percent drop in production.
In Europe, crude steel production in 2016 reached 162.3 million metric tons, a 2.3 percent decline from 2015’s figures. Broken out by individual countries, Germany produced 41.1 million metric tons for the year, a decline of 1.4 percent; Italy produced 23.3 million metric tons, a 6 percent increase; and Spain produced 13.7 million metric tons, a 0.8 percent drop.
In North America, total crude steel production held steady at 111 million metric tons, though U.S. steel production dropped by 0.3 percent to 78.6 million metric tons.
In South America, steel production posted a much sharper 10.6 percent drop to 39.2 million metric tons. Brazil, the largest steel producer in South America, saw its crude steel production drop by 9.2 percent to 30.2 million metric tons.
Crude steel production in CIS countries stood at 102.4 million metric tons in 2016, 0.8 percent higher than in 2015. Russia produced 70.8 million metric tons of crude steel in 2016, down by 0.1 percent; and Ukraine recorded production increasing by 5.5 percent to 24.2 million metric tons.
For December, world crude steel production for the 66 countries reporting to Worldsteel was 134 million metric tons, a 5.5 percent increase from December 2015.
Additionally, according to Worldsteel, the December capacity utilization ratio of the 66 countries was 68.1 percent, a 2.8 percent increase from December 2015.