China drags global steel output in April, again

BL Chennai Bureau | | Updated on: May 25, 2022
A worker inspects a bicycle steel rim at a workshop of a company manufacturing sports equipment in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. REUTERS/File photo

A worker inspects a bicycle steel rim at a workshop of a company manufacturing sports equipment in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. REUTERS/File photo

India registers a rise as world steel production drops for the tenth time

Global crude steel production dropped for the tenth consecutive month in April this year, dragged by China’s production declining for the seventh month in the running even as India registered a rise.

According to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) data, global steel production in April declined by 5.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to 162.7 million tonnes (mt). Global production has been on the downswing since July last year as China, which makes up over 50 per cent of the output among the 64 countries whose data are taken into credit, has tended to slip up. 

World steel output during January-April this year is estimated at 619.1 mt, down by 7.1 per cent y-o-y. The output witnessed an increase last time in June 2021, when it was up by 11 per cent. 

Heartening feature

China’s production drop almost matched the decline in global output. It produced steel 5.2 per cent lower in April compared with the same period a year ago. For the first four months of the calendar year, its production was down by 10.3 per cent at 336.2 mt. 

But a positive feature of the Chinese production was that it was the year’s highest after having produced 88.3 mt in March, 83 mt in February and 81.7 mt in January. The fourth wave of Covid and the lockdowns announced by Beijing to tackle the pandemic were the reasons why its production was affected earlier. 

In March, too, China faced its worst phase of the pandemic in two years as the virus cases doubled. May and June could see further improvement in Chinese production as the curbs on movement in the Communist nation are being relaxed, while Shanghai is set to open fully from all curbs from June 1. 

Indian scenario

India’s steel production increased by 6.2 per cent to 10.1 mt in April compared with the year-ago period. But the production was lower than 10.9 mt in March and 10.8 mt in January. In February, India produced 10.1 mt. 

India’s steel production has been hovering above 10 mt since December last year. For the January-April period, the worldsteel data showed the output was up 6.5 per cent from the same period a year ago at 42.3 mt.

Among other nations, Japan’s production declined by 4.4 per cent to 7.5 mt, while that of the US slipped 3.9 per cent to 6.9 mt. Despite its war with Ukraine, Russia is estimated to have produced 6.4 mt, up 0.6 per cent y-o-y. 

Turkey was the only other country where the output increased in April by 1.6 per cent to 3.4 mt. For the first four months, only India has registered an increase in production.  

Published on May 25, 2022
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