The global production for steel increased by 2.5% in Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021, but declined by 4.9% from Q1 2021. Global steel production grew in Q1 2022 due to increase in steel production in APAC, APAC contributes more than 70% of the global steel production. China, the world’s largest steel making nation, produced 245 Mt of crude steel in Q1 2022, an increase of 8% compared to Q4 2021. Steel production increased in China as the COVID-19 disruptions eased. The rising output came after mills in northern China finished production cuts the government ordered in mid-March. Globally, the price of steel decreased by 1.1% in Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021.
In Q2 2022, the global demand for steel is expected to decline further by 1.6% from Q1 2022 as China continues to reduce its steel output to meet its carbon neutrality target. The price of steel is forecast to increase by 2.4% in Q2 2022 vs. Q1 2022 due to climbing raw materials costs. The figure below depicts the change in demand and change in the price of steel over the past five quarters. Data also provides forecasts for Q2 of 2022 as below.
Source: World Steel Association, Lucintel
Figure: Global Quarterly Steel Production and Price Trends
The North American steel production declined by 4% in Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021; however, it is expected to increase in Q2 2022. Although, housing starts in the US increased by 5.0% during Q1 2022 from Q4 2021, the steel production decreased in Q1 2022 due to low demand from end use industry such as automotive; the automotive industry, which accounts for about 30% of US steel demand, has been facing headwinds.
In terms of steel production in the European region, it declined by 4.6% in Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021. The decline was majorly due to Russia-Ukraine war and decline in various end use industries including transportation and industrial applications. European steel demand is expected to decline in Q2 2022 due to Germany’s steel plants being forced to cut steel production, because of high energy prices. The other main reason is the unpredictable situation in the natural gas market. In terms of price, the European region registered an increase in price of crude steel during Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021 due to supply chain disruption.
In Q1 2022, production of crude steel in the Asian region increased by 5.6% as compared to Q4 2021, and it is expected to increase further in Q2 2022. Countries like China, India, and Japan produced around 300 million metric tons of crude steel during Q1 2022, an increase by 7% from the Q4 of 2021. The demand for steel increased as lockdown, government restriction, and production cuts are eased in end of Q1 2022.
In ROW, steel production decreased by 5.7% in Q1 2022 as compared to Q4 2021 but it is expected to increase in Q2 2022. The steel demand decreased in ROW due to falling demand from end-users. It is expected to increase in the next quarter caused by strong recovery of the market and consumptions.
The price and demand analysis on above is published monthly for various regions. Lucintel analysts collect supply, demand and price data from various suppliers and consumers on a monthly basis and also analyzes news on supply and demand issues, production, and price trends. This allows Lucintel to publish unbiased assessments on price and demand movements to help you make confident business decisions on your negotiation or business issues.
Become a valued Lucintel member to gain access to thousands of market data, price and demand trends, and more for one low rate ($89 / month to $1,850 / month). Analyst and sales support included.