Vietnam ranks 12th in the world for crude steel production in 2023

Vietnam ranks 12th in the world for crude steel production in 2023

Steel NewsDate: 05-02-2024 by: Ngan Le

According to the World Steel Association (WorldSteel), in 2023, global crude steel production reached 1,888 million tons, with Vietnam contributing 19 million tons to this figure. Despite a 5% decrease in crude steel production compared to 2022, Vietnam's notable achievement is an upward shift in its ranking, reaching 12th place globally among the 71 countries listed.

Vietnam's crude steel production decreased by 5% but climbed one position in the rankings

In 2023, Vietnam achieved a notable milestone as its crude steel production surpassed that of Taiwan, securing the 12th position in the global rankings. This highlights a positive outlook for steel demand in Vietnam, despite the ongoing incomplete recovery of the domestic real estate market. Additionally, leveraging political advantages, countries in the Middle East view Vietnam as a promising destination for steel imports. Experts emphasize that Vietnam's steel export volume in 2023 also benefited partly from the weakened export activities of competing nations such as China, India, and Turkey, creating opportunities to boost production capacity in the country.

Vietnam ranks among the top 12 countries with the highest global crude steel production in 2023

Predictions for 2024 anticipate a positive recovery in both demand and steel prices in Vietnam, with raw material prices forecasted to significantly decrease. This is expected to lead to a substantial increase in the Vietanm steel industry's profit margins. The primary driving force for domestic steel consumption comes from the expected strong recovery in the civil construction sector, while the industrial and infrastructure construction segments are projected to sustain growth throughout 2023.

Regarding the export sector, the World Steel Association notes that the growth in infrastructure construction activities in the ASEAN, U.S., and EU markets, coupled with the benefits from bilateral agreements, will boost Vietnam's steel export activities this year. Therefore, it is expected that Vietnam's crude steel production in 2024 will experience a more robust increase compared to the current year, driven by both domestic and international market dynamics.

China and India are the two largest steel producers globally

China has once again maintained its position as the leading country in the global steel industry. In the past year, 2023, the country produced a staggering 1,019 million tons, sustaining its production at a stable level after two consecutive years of decline. According to analysts from S&P Global Commodity Insights, China's steel production is anticipated to decrease by 0.5% in 2024 as domestic plants seek solutions to address excess supply issues along with weak profit margins. This outcome is expected to lead to another prediction that China's iron ore imports will decline due to the slowing down of steel production.

The statistical chart of raw steel-producing nations for the current year also reveals a remarkable surge in India's production, driven by robust domestic demand and infrastructure projects supported by the government's ongoing initiatives. In 2023, India recorded a noteworthy growth, with a production increase of 11.8% compared to the previous year, reaching an impressive 140.2 million tons. Notably, amidst the global decline in steel demand, India continues to maintain its position as one of the countries with the highest growth rates in crude steel production and stands out as one of the few nations showing positive growth trends.

The monthly crude steel production figures for China and the world in 2023

Crude steel production in Europe decline from weak demand

Overall, crude steel production in Europe is reported to have decreased by 6.7% in 2023 compared to 2022. Among the 71 countries listed, the majority of nations in the European region witnessed negative growth. Specifically, Germany, recording its lowest crude steel production since 2009 with around 35.4 million tons in 2023, marked a 3.9% decrease from the previous year. Similarly, the second-largest steel producer in Europe, Italy, also exhibited a 2.5% reduction in production to 21.06 million tons.

The simultaneous decline in steel production can be attributed to low consumption demand and high energy prices, presenting challenges for factories in the region. The steel industry in Europe is grappling with high production costs due to increased energy prices since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, alongside an influx of cheaper imported products that impose limitations on local steel manufacturers.

The production downturn is not limited to domestic output; steel exports to the EU also witnessed a 5.57% reduction in 2023 compared to the same period. However, the growth rate of steel exports to new markets, including Western Asia and Central Asia, experienced a substantial increase. The persistence of inflationary cycles and the strong impact of trade protectionism are considered the primary impediments to steel exports from other countries to this region.