Global 11-month steel production down 1.3% to 1.67 billion tonnes

AK&M 22 January 2021 18:02

In November 2020, global steel production increased compared with November 2019 but trailed the previous month's performance, according to issue 1406 of AK&M Information Agency's "RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES: PRODUCTION, FINANCE, SECURITIES. Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metallurgy" monthly paper dated January 20, 2021.

According to the World Steel Association (WSA), a total of 158.261 million tonnes of steel were produced worldwide in November, which is 6.6% above the November 2019 result but 2.2% below the October 2020 level. Total steel output for 11 months of 2020 reached about 1,670,396,000 tonnes, which is 1.3% below the 11-month result in 2019. It should be noted that China alone accounted for 57.5% of the global output, the country's contribution to global steelmaking has been growing continuously since April 2020 and stopped growing only in November. We also note the record high steelmaking growth rate in Vietnam: the country ranked 10th among the leading steel producers in November.

Russia increased steel production by 0.8% year-on-year to 5.86 million tonnes in November, staying the world's fifth largest steel producer and coming very close to the fourth position (according to the WSA). For 11 months of 2020, the steel output in Russia decreased by 0.6% to 65.182 million tonnes (-17.9% in the US, -17.3% in Japan, -7.2% in South Korea, -12.3% in India), while China increased production by 5.5%, Turkey by 4.9% and Vietnam by 43.6%.

Global prices of most of rolled products climbed sharply and rapidly, reaching new historic highs in December. Semi-finished products saw the highest price growth rate. For instance, slabs advanced in price by 24.3% to $646.2 per tonne average, steel blanks by 17.3% to $878.4 per tonne. In the segment of flat rolled products, the price growth rate was lower. In particular, hot-rolled steel prices increased by 16.5%, cold-rolled steel prices by 16.4% to $826.9 per tonne.

The soaring prices of steel products gave rise to their heavy exports from Russia, resulting in shortage in the domestic market. The Government had to resort to tariff actions to curb the mass exports of these products. At the end of December, temporary export duties on waste and ferrous scrap were approved. The export customs duty will be 5%, but at least EUR 45 per tonne. This decree shall take effect in 30 days after its publication, and the duties will be imposed for six months. According to the Government, this measure should prevent an increase in prices of construction materials and steel products for industrial applications.

An in-depth review of the trends and performance results of the ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy market in November 2020 is provided in issue 1406 of AK&M Information Agency's "RUSSIAN INDUSTRIES: PRODUCTION, FINANCE, SECURITIES. Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metallurgy" monthly paper.