The European Union, China and Japan ranked first among the world’s largest steel and iron exporters in 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported.
Above all, the European Union exported these products worth 125,000 million dollars. Considering only extra-bloc exports, its sales totaled $ 32 billion.
Then there were China ($ 46 billion) and Japan ($ 24 billion).
These exports are among the most regulated by antidumping or countervailing duties in the world.
Other relevant iron and steel exporters were: South Korea, Russia, India, the United States, Turkey and Brazil.
According to the World Steel Association, global crude steel production during the first five months of 2021 amounted to 838 million tons, 14.6% more compared to the same period in 2020.
While Chinese steel production rose just under 14%, production in North America climbed 11% and production in the EU-27 rose 15%.
Conversely, among the main external buyers of iron and steel in 2020 were: The European Union (123,000 million dollars; extra-bloc, 31,000 million), China (39,000 million) and the United States (24,000 million).
In North America, plate demand was strong in most customer segments during the second quarter of 2021.
Inventory levels remain generally low, even at dealers.
Also in Europe, demand was strong during the second quarter. The semiconductor shortage reduced demand from the vehicle industry somewhat. Imports into Europe increased somewhat during the second quarter, but a shortage of steel still prevails on the market.
Global demand for high-strength steel was strong during the quarter.
In principle, the markets of all geographies show good demand, which exceeds supply.