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Global Crude Steel Production Declines 5.1% in May, China's Output Continues to Drag

Global crude steel production declined by 5.1% in May, with China's output dragging down the numbers. India showed a 3.2% rise, while the US and Japan saw decreases. Russia, Iran, and India were the only countries among the top producers to increase their output. Challenges persist in the steel industry, primarily due to China's declining production.

Yash Saxena
Global Crude Steel Production Declines 5.1% in May, China's Output Continues to Drag
Global Crude Steel Production Declines 5.1% in May, China's Output Continues to Drag

According to the latest data released by the World Steel Association (World Steel), global crude steel production witnessed a significant decline of 5.1% in May compared to the same period last year. Production across 63 countries totalled 161.6 million tonnes (mt), down from 169.9 mt recorded in May 2022.

China, the leading producer of steel, reported production of 90.1 mt, marking a 7.3% decrease compared to the previous year. In April, China produced 92.6 mt, indicating a decline of 1.5% compared to March 2022.

India, on the other hand, saw a notable rise in steel production, reporting a 3.2% increase at 11.2 mt. Over the January-May period, India's steel output has risen by 5.7% to reach 56.4 mt.

The United States and Japan experienced declines in steel production as well. Japan witnessed a 2.3% drop, reaching 6.9 mt, while the US recorded a 5.2% decrease, producing 7.6 mt. In contrast, Russia's production saw a significant increase of 8.8% year-on-year, reaching 6.8 mt.

South Korea's output saw a marginal decrease of 0.1%, totaling 5.8 mt, while Germany experienced a slight increase of 0.2% with production reaching 3.2 mt. Brazil, however, witnessed a decline in output by 5.5% to 2.8 mt. On the positive side, Iran reported a substantial hike of 8.8% with steel production reaching 3.3 mt.

Considering the January-May period, the combined steel production of the 63 nations, which account for 97% of global steel output, was estimated at 786 mt, representing a decrease of 1.2%. Apart from India, China, Russia, and Iran, no other countries among the top steel producers managed to achieve an increase in output during this period.

These figures reflect the ongoing challenges faced by the global steel industry, primarily influenced by China's declining output. The fluctuations in steel production across various countries could have implications for global trade and economic growth, making it an area to closely monitor in the coming months.

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