ISSB maintains a detailed database of the imports and exports of steel and steelmaking raw materials for more than 60 major steelmaking nations, collectively accounting for 97% of global steel output. This high level of coverage also allows an accurate assessment of the trade flows for those countries for which we cannot obtain national trade data.
Global Crude Steel Production
In 2016 global crude steel output increased to 1,630 million tonnes, just under a 1% increase when compared to the previous year. Asia made gains of 1.6% compared with an EU28 reduction of 2.5%. Within Asia, activity is dominated by China with an increase of 1.2% but India also made significant gains with an output growth of 7.4%. Within the EU, UK registered the most significant change amounting to a reduction of 30%, following the closure of the SSI facility at Teesside and cut backs at other plants. Of the major producers in EU28, Italy made the most significant gain with a growth rate of 6%. Elsewhere, NAFTA was flat although both Canada and Mexico reported gains. Output in South America and Brazil fell by 8.4% and 6% respectively.
World Steel Association crude steel production trends are summarised below.
Global Trade in Steel
Following several years of export growth, China, by far the largest global exporter of steel, reduced exports in 2016 by 3% or 3.5 million tonnes. EU28 posted the greatest reduction in export volumes, down 11%. In contrast, India, achieved an export growth of 40% followed by Taiwan at 10% and Russia at 5%. Other winners were Turkey and Ukraine, both securing growth of 3%.
The EU has maintained its position of the largest importer of steel in the world with growth levels of 10% following a 19% growth the previous year. In contrast, the US, which has traditionally been a main importer, saw shipments to the country reduced by 15% continuing the trend established in 2016. Elsewhere, Turkey and India both experienced significant reductions in imports as domestic producers increased output.
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Global Trade in Steelmaking Raw Materials
Global Trade in Iron Ore
Iron ore exports continue to be dominated by Australia and Brazil and it is interesting to note that despite the reduction in global crude steel production, global exports of iron ore have increased by 2% year on year. This development was partly due to Chinese steelmakers finding it cheaper to import high grade ore from these countries than rely on lower grade domestically produced ore.
This year has also seen a move away from smaller producers towards Australia and Brazil as the larger, more efficient mines in these countries gain market share at the expense of the smaller, higher cost, producers.
If you want to know more about global iron ore exports or imports please either contact email@example.com or use our NEW on-line Trade Enquiry System.
Global Trade in Scrap In contrast to the iron ore trade, total world exports of scrap declined moderately year on year with the largest two importers both showing falls when compared to 2013. There were some increases from various EU countries as the industry picked up slightly there with Italy, Spain and Belgium all showing rises. Chinese scrap imports fell considerably, however, and their place in the top 11 importers was taken by Vietnam.