Global steel industry outlook is improving, according to Fitch Ratings, as recovery in key end markets such as automotive, manufacturing, construction and infrastructure, as well as some consolidation in major steel markets, increase capacity utilization and maintain margins in 2021.
Chinese steel companies, many of which are state-owned enterprises, have boosted steel production to a projected record high of 980 million tonnes (t) in 2020 and 2021 (72 million tonnes more than in 2019) as financial stimulus measures support investment in infrastructure while adaptive monetary policy promotes real estate investment.
In the rest of the world, economic stimulus measures were more moderate, and steel production fell by more than 100 million tonnes, against a projected production of 745 million tonnes in 2020. We expect activity outside of China to rise to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, as forecast. production of 815 tons in 2021. The approval and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in Europe and North America, where the pandemic continues to devastate societies and many steel companies are facing challenges from high costs and overcapacity, should mitigate the risks of a deteriorating demand forecast. .