hot steel bucket
While steel output month-to-month declined in China and Turkey, output in the U.S rose by 5.6 percent.
Photo courtesy of ArcelorMittal.

July steel output drops from previous month

World Steel Association says output this July in China fell by more than 7 million tons compared with June, causing global falloff.

August 26, 2021

Figures collected by the Brussels-based World Steel Association (Worldsteel) show global steel output of 161.7 million metric tons this July 2021 represented a 5.8-million-metric-ton drop compared with the previous month.

Contrary to the prevailing trend the previous two decades, output in China declined in July while production in the rest of the world increased in aggregate. Worldsteel shows China with a July production figure of 86.8 million metric tons, down by more than 7 million tons from a June figure of 93.9 million metric tons.

A government effort to reduce carbon emissions has been cited as the predominant reason for the steelmaking decline in China. Economists also are keen to determine whether a retreat from the massive infrastructure spending and apartment tower building of the previous two decades may also be contributing to a steel slowdown.

In much of the rest of the world, as economies continue to rebound from earlier COVID-19-related restrictions, steel output was stable or increased slightly in July compared with June. In the United States, steel output of 7.5 million metric tons in July represented a 5.6 percent increased compared with the 7.1 million tons made in June.

Output in Turkey—the largest buyer of exported U.S. ferrous scrap—decreased in July compared with June, however, declining by 5.9 percent.

China’s July output figure also represents a sizable year-on-year decrease, falling 8.4 percent compared with July 2020, according to Worldsteel. Turkey, however, produced nearly 23 percent more steel in July of this year compared with July 2020, putting in the category of nations showing a rebound from earlier in the pandemic.

The U.S. July 2021 figure represents nearly a 38 percent boost compared to its steel output in July 2020.