Projected global crude steel production 2020-2021

Global crude steel production is expected to reach almost 1.9 billion metric tons by 2021. Apart from being produced by raw materials, steel may be recycled and many countries import scraps in order to do so. Over 60 percent of the worlds scrap steel becomes recycled.

Stagnation in the steel market

Estimates of global steel production indicate a contraction for the first time in five years in 2020, and demand growth will also likely remain flat. Steel is one of the most commonly used metals across the globe. This is due to its key role in civil engineering construction and major appliances fabrication, which utilize the alloy’s strength and durability. Steel also plays an important role in discrete manufacturing - from surgical instruments to wristwatches.

Worldwide production has increased incredibly over the last decade, and this has a lot to do with China’s immense productivity. This country produces roughly half of the world’s crude steel and is a net exporter of crude steel. Capacity additions may lead to increased production of steel; however, global steel demand is expected to show small growth rates of 3.9 and 1.7 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively. China will remain the leading market for finished steel products.

Production and consumption in China is expected to stagnate in 2020. Concurrently, steel manufacturers in the United States have been picking up serious pace. Following the 25 percent tariffs on steel imported from certain countries, the cost of steel in the United States had immediately risen, and domestic production became more profitable. The largest steel producer in the United States, Nucor, saw its sales decrease from 25.1 billion U.S. dollars to nearly 22.6 billion between 2018 and 2019.

Projected global crude steel production in 2020 and 2021

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The figures are projections.

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