Global crude steel production crashes to 144.4 million tonnes on energy crunch

Global crude steel production declined in September, marking the fourth straight month of month-over-month declines. September global crude steel production fell to 144.4 million tonnes, the World Steel Association reported last week.

Metals producers around the world have felt the burden of rising energy costs. Zinc prices, for example, have since retraced but earlier this month soared to 14-year highs. Belgian zinc producer Nyrstar said it would slash production in response to rising energy costs.

As for steel, September output declined from 154.4 million tonnes the previous month. Meanwhile, output declined by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Top producer China saw its output fall from 83.2 million tonnes to 73.8 million tonnes in September this year.

The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) overviewed the sector’s third-quarter performance on Monday. “The steel industry has actively responded to changes in domestic and international demand and made efforts to overcome difficulties such as high raw and fuel material prices and rising pressure on ‘double carbon’ environmental protection,” CISA said.

“The overall operation trend in the first three quarters was good, making outstanding contributions to meeting the steel demand of downstream industries and ensuring the sustainable recovery of the national economy. However, it also faces challenges such as a more complex market environment and difficulty in reducing costs and increasing efficiency,” it added.

India, the second-largest steel producer, churned out 9.5 million tonnes amid a coal crisis of its own. The total marked a 7.2% year-over-year increase. However, output declined from August’s 9.9 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Japanese output reached 8.1 million tonnes, or up 25.6% year over year. The European Union production totaled 12.7 million tonnes, or up 15.6% year over year.

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