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China leads the world in steel production

Agriculture.com Staff 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am

Move over US. China is taking over the world of steel. The United States used to be the world's dominant market for steel, but China now unquestionably owns that distinction. In fact, the US isn't even second in steel production. That honors goes to Japan.

"China has produced over 200 million metric tons of crude steel in a year, the first time this has ever been achieved by a single nation. China now accounts for almost 23% of all crude steel produced in the world," says Ian Christmas, secretary general of the International Iron and Steel Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

One of the major reasons US production has declined is the financial situation being faced by American steel firms. The huge drop in steel prices which occured from the mid-1990s to last year forced my US mills into bankruptcy. Other mills were purposely idled to stem corporate losses.

Not helping the situation is the fact that deposits of iron ore in much of North America have been mined out. Major iron ore deposits remain in Brazil and Australia, capable of supplying the world for years to come. However, now the US must compete against other major steel producers like China and Korea for that ore.

And Chinese production is soaring. Total steel output in that nation 220.1 million metric tons 2003, the first time a country has produced more than 200 million metric tons of crude steel in a year. This represents a 21.2% compared to 2002.

The top ten crude steel producers in the world and their production in metric tons in 2003 were:

1. China: 220.1 million metric tons

2. Japan: 110.5 million metric tons

3. United States: 91.4 million metric tons

4. Russia: 61.3 million metric tons

5. South Korea: 46.3 million metric tons

6. Germany: 44.8 million metric tons

7. Ukraine: 36.7 million metric tons

8. India: 31.8 million metric tons

9. Brazil: 31.1 million metric tons

10. Italy: 26.7 million metric tons

Move over US. China is taking over the world of steel. The United States used to be the world's dominant market for steel, but China now unquestionably owns that distinction. In fact, the US isn't even second in steel production. That honors goes to Japan.

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