Steel is the world’s most commonly used metal and most recycled material, with 1,864 million metric tons of crude steel produced in 2020. Given its highly durable nature, energy-efficient production, and infinite recyclability, steel has served as the foundation of buildings, vehicles, and industries, with its rates of production and consumption often seen as markers for a nation’s development.

Global steel production has more than tripled over the past 50 years, with China dominating the sector since overtaking Japan in 1996. In 2020, it was responsible for the production of 1,053 metric tons (Mt) of steel, representing over 50% of the global total. Despite its current supremacy, China could be preparing to scale back domestic steel production to curb overproduction risks and ensure it can reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

The rest of the top 10 steel producing countries goes as follows by (2020 production):

  • India
  • Japan
  • Russian
  • United States
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • Iran

Africa remains a small contributor to steel production, having produced less than 20 metric tons (Mt) of steel in 2020.

Source: World Steel Association. Elements





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