Steel is a crucial material across countless industries — from construction and automotive to energy and manufacturing. The alloy made of iron and carbon (and sometimes other elements) is used to create the places where we live and work, the cars, trucks, buses and trains that help us get around and the appliances we rely on to make our lives easier. Without steel, society would not have been able to advance to what it has become. Today, the steel industry is very active thanks to the top five steel producing countries.
According to the World Steel Association, “A healthy economy needs a healthy steel industry providing employment and driving growth.” In 2018, world steel production was at 1,992 million tons — up 20% from 2010. It’s forecasted that higher global steel demand in 2019 and into 2020 will continue to increase production.
These top steel-producing countries help meet that demand:
- China | 1023.2 million tons
- India | 117.3 million tons
- Japan | 114.9 million tons
- USA | 95.4 million tons
- South Korea | 79.9 million tons
When looking at steel production, it’s also interesting to review steel use or consumption. As the fourth most common metal, steel production and subsequent use can be a good indicator of the health of the global economy.
Listed below are the top 10 countries in respect to their steel use in 2018:
- South Korea | 2,308 pounds/per capita
- China | 2,921 pounds/per capita
- Japan | 1,133 pounds/per capita
- Germany | 1,092 pounds/per capita
- Canada | 1,033 pounds/per capita
- Turkey | 823 pounds/per capita
- Spain | 680 pounds/per capita
- USA | 675 pounds/per capita
- Russia | 630 pounds/per capita
- France | 475 pounds/per capita
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Data from World Steel Association (2018 figures): https://www.worldsteel.org/media-centre/press-releases/2019/world-steel-in-figures-2019.html