Steel Industry - Statistics & Facts

Steel Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and Facts on the Global Steel Industry

Since the establishment of steel mills, there have often been times when steel producers were facing an imbalance of supply and demand. Overcapacities in the sector became the new normal when China, the world's largest producer of steel, ramped up its production and flooded the markets, including the United States, with cheap steel: U.S. steel imports peaked in 2014, when almost one third of steel sales were produced abroad. In 2015, as a result of weak demand from China's domestic construction sector and an overall decline in GDP growth, the Chinese steel industry encountered its first annual contraction in about 25 years.

With 2014 revenue of around 79 billion U.S. dollars (or around 59 billion euros), Luxembourg-based steel maker ArcelorMittal is currently the world’s largest steel producing company. U.S.-based companies Nucor and U.S. Steel were ranked sixth and ninth, respectively in 2014.

Steel is an alloy which mainly consists of iron but is typically made by combining iron and other elements. These additional elements and the right temperature play a crucial role when it comes to changing the metal's properties in terms of strength, toughness, ductility, weldability and durability. The perfect combination of iron and other elements, including manganese, carbon or base metals such as nickel and copper, help produce the type of steel that is the best fit for a certain need. The most widespread methods to alter the properties of steel include annealing, tempering, quenching and peening, as well as hot or cold rolling. Steel plays an essential role in infrastructure development and building construction, as well as in car manufacturing and shipbuilding. In light of increasing environmental awareness, it has to be emphasized that the ferrous metal is one of the most widely recycled materials worldwide. About 1.66 billion metric tons of crude steel was produced globally in 2014. That year, worldwide consumption of steel scrap came to around 585 million metric tons.

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