Global steel output up 7% y/y in October as industry recovers

25th November 2020 By: Reuters

Global crude steel production in October rose 7% year on year to 162-million tonnes as other countries joined China in a recovery in industrial activity.

China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of the metal, remained the stand-out performer with a gain of 12.7% to 92.2-million tonnes, data from the World Steel Association showed on Tuesday.

The rise in global steel output was the third straight month of gains after five months of declines as the Covid-19 pandemic depressed industrial activity.

"Global production ex-China is rebounding, but we will probably have to wait until next year to see output outside of China fully return to 2019 levels," Samuel Burman, assistant commodities economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

Most countries showed the impact of loosened coronavirus restrictions and rebounding industrial activity, with some moving into growth while others pared losses.

Production in India edged up 0.9% in October after falling 2.9% in September, helped by a mild monsoon season, Burman said.

Germany posted a 3.1% rise after falling 9.7% the previous month while output in the United States dropped 15.3% compared with an 18.5% slide in September.

"However, quarantine lockdown measures (in the United States) are likely to weigh on domestic consumption and production in the coming months," Burman added.

The World Steel Association - a group of producers that accounts for about 85% of global steel output - last month said the decline in global steel demand this year will be less than previously expected at 2.4% after a buoyant recovery in China.