S. Korea's crude steel output seen to dip below 70 mln tons this year

Posted on 20 November 2020

South Korea's production of crude steel is expected to fall below the 70 million-ton mark for the first time in four years in 2020 due to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, industry sources estimated Thursday.

Crude steel output of Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 49.6 million tons in the first nine months of the year, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Iron & Steel Association and the World Steel Association.

In light of that, South Korea's full-year output is projected to range from 67 million tons to 68 million tons.

Industry sources said the country's crude steel output is unlikely to exceed 70 million tons this year even though demand is usually brisk in the fourth quarter of every year.

 SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's production of crude steel is expected to fall below the 70 million-ton mark for the first time in four years in 2020 due to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, industry sources estimated Thursday.

Crude steel output of Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 49.6 million tons in the first nine months of the year, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Iron & Steel Association and the World Steel Association.

In light of that, South Korea's full-year output is projected to range from 67 million tons to 68 million tons.

Industry sources said the country's crude steel output is unlikely to exceed 70 million tons this year even though demand is usually brisk in the fourth quarter of every year.

It would mark the first time since 2016 for South Korea's crude steel production to fall below the 70 million-ton mark.

The country's crude steel output came to 71.4 million tons in 2019, 72.5 million tons in 2018 and 71 million tons in 2017.

Industry watchers attributed the expected drop to a slump in the auto, shipbuilding and construction industries in the wake of the pandemic.

South Korea's crude steel output is expected to be ranked sixth-largest in the world this year, the same as last year, after China, India, Japan, the United States and Russia.

Meanwhile, global demand for steel is projected to pick up from the fourth quarter of the year on the back of a recovery in the world economy.

In a recent report, the World Steel Association forecast global steel demand to reach 1.795 billion tons next year, up 4.1 percent from this year.

Source : Yonhap