Steel Industry Trends

August 27, 2019

The steel industry serves as a foundation for several industries in the United States and beyond. Industries such as construction, transportation, energy, heavy engineering and defense count on steel for everyday operations. As a result, developments in the steel industry can influence additional industries. This guide will overview critical data about the steel industry as of July 2019.

Growth of the Steel Market in the 21st Century

Steel became more important than ever between 2000 and 2018. In 2000, the worldwide steel industry produced a total of 850 metric tons of crude steel. Nearly two decades later in 2018, that amount doubled to 1,809 metric tons. In the modern global economy, the construction industry considers forms of iron such as steel its leading building material. Out of all of the world’s industries, the engineering industry uses ferrous materials such as steel the most.

Trends indicate the global demand for steel will continue to grow. The World Steel Institute estimates the world’s use of steel will increase by 1.5 times to accommodate a growing population.

Important Steel Market Trends for the American Industry

America’s steel industry has a strong impact on the country’s economy. According to a report by the American Iron and Steel Institute, the steel industry’s influence on the economy has three aspects:

  • Direct impact: The steel industry provides jobs to workers and generates goods and services for the economy. In 2017, the steel industry had 387,000 direct jobs and $207 billion in economic output.
  • Indirect (supplier) impact: Companies that supply the American steel industry also affect the United States economy. Suppliers to the steel industry had 716,000 jobs in 2017 and $173 billion in economic output.
  • Induced impact: This report also measured “induced impact,” or the impact of steelworker spending on the economy. Their spending on items such as food and housing created 878,000 jobs with an impact of $143 billion.

In total, the direct, indirect and induced impact of steel combined accounted for almost 2 million jobs in 2017.

State of the Global Steel Market

Global economies also benefit from the steel industry’s contributions. More than 6 million people worldwide work for the steel industry, including 2 million direct steelmaking jobs. Every job in the worldwide steel industry creates 7.1 additional jobs, leading to employment for 42 million people. In 2017, these jobs reported distributing close to $2 billion to society.

A small number of countries contribute to the majority of the steel industry’s output. Five countries account for 72% percent of global steel production:

  • China: 928.3 metric tons
  • India: 106.5 metric tons
  • Japan: 104.3 metric tons
  • United States: 86.6 metric tons
  • South Korea: 72.5 metric tons

China saw an exponential increase in production between 2000 and 2018. In 2000, they produced 15.1 percent of the world’s steel, and now they produce 51.3 percent.

Steel Solutions From Fairlawn Tool, Inc.

Fairlawn Tool, Inc. offers contract metal fabrication for stainless steel and other critical materials. If you need a manufacturer for your next steel project, our team can provide a wide range of services from a single source. Learn more about our steel solutions by contacting our team online.

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