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The Top-30 steel producing countries in the world in 2023

China, India, Japan, the United States and Russia are ranked as the world’s top steel producing countries in 2023, according to the Worldsteel association.Their production was as follows, measured in millions of tons:

  • China: 1,019.1
  • India: 140.7.
  • Japan: 87.0.
  • United States: 81.4.
  • Russia: 76.0.
  • According to Brazil‘s Gerdau, one of the biggest challenges facing the international market in 2023 was the increase in Chinese steel exports to the maritime market. 

With stable production and weaker demand from the real estate sector, total exports increased 37% to 93 million tons, the highest level since 2016. However, mill margins remained negative for most of the year due to raw material costs and lower steel prices. 

Steel producing countries

The global steel industry is composed of hundreds of steel-producing facilities and is divided into two main categories according to the production method used: integrated steel mills and non-integrated steel mills, sometimes referred to as «mini mills.» On the one hand, integrated steel mills typically produce steel from iron oxide, which is extracted from molten iron ore in blast furnaces, and refine the iron into steel, mainly using basic oxygen furnaces or, more rarely, electric arc furnaces. On the other hand, non-integrated steel mills produce steel by melting steel scrap in electric arc furnaces, which is sometimes supplemented with other metals such as direct reduction iron or hot compressed iron.

Brazil

Elsewhere, steel production decreased 7.4% in the European Union (126.3 Mt) and 1.7% in North America (109.6Mt). Brazil continued to export slabs and pig iron to the United States and Mexico, without Russia as a supplier, but the country’s output declined 6.5% (31.9 Mt), leading South American production to fall 5.7% (41.5Mt). In addition, India’s growth reached double digits with an increase of 11.8% (140.2 Mt) and Russia had the second most relevant increase, closing the year with 75.8 Mt (+5.6%). According to CRU data published in January 2024, apparent consumption of hot-rolled steel products faced a small increase of 0.7% year-on-year, and consumption increased 1.7% in the world, excluding China.