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Coal & Steel Statistics

Steel Production

Global steel production is dependent on coal – around 70% of total global steel production relies directly on inputs of coal. Around 1 billion tonnes of coal are used in global steel production, which is around 14% of total coal consumption worldwide.

Crude Steel Production

20121547Mt20081341Mt
20111536Mt20071347Mt
20101432Mt20061249Mt
20091236Mt20051147Mt

Top Ten Steel Producers (2012)

PR China716MtSouth Korea69Mt
Japan107MtGermany43Mt
USA89MtTurkey36Mt
India78MtBrazil34Mt
Russia70MtUkraine33Mt

Processes

Currently almost 70% of global steel is produced in Basic Oxygen Furnaces (BOF). Coking coal is converted to coke, which is then used in the blast furnace to smelt iron ore. The resulting molten iron is then taken to the BOF, where steel scrap and limestone are added. A stream of high purity oxygen is blown through the molten bath to remove impurities, leaving almost pure liquid steel.

About 770 kg of coal are required to produce 1 tonne of steel in this production route.

A further 29% of steel is produced in Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF); much of the electricity used in this process is generated from coal-fired power stations.

About 150 kg of coal are required to produce 1 tonne of steel in Electric Arc Furnaces.

Steel Use

There was a 72% increase in steel use worldwide between 2002 and 2012. Today most steel is used in China - 45.7%, in comparison to only 23.3% in 2002.

Top Users of Steel (2012)

PR China646MtRussia42Mt
USA97MtGermany38Mt
India72MtTurkey28Mt
Japan64MtBrazil25Mt
South Korea54MtItaly22Mt

Per Capita Use of Steel (2012)

Per capita use of steel varies significantly around the world (kg per capita):

South Korea1114China477kg
Chinese Taipei770kgGermany460kg
Czech Republic565kgCanada415kg
Japan506kgBelgium-Luxemburg392g
Austria485kgWorld217kg

Top Coking Coal Exporters (2012e)

Australia142MtCzech Republic3Mt
USA63MtIndonesia3Mt
Canada31MtMozambique3Mt
Mongolia19MtNew Zealand2Mt
Russia18MtPR China2Mt

Major Coking Coal Importers (2012e)

PR China71MtUkraine10Mt
Japan52MtGermany9Mt
India37MtChinese Taipei8Mt
Korea31MtTurkey8Mt
Brazil11MtUnited Kingdom5Mt

Pulverised Coal Injection (PCI)

A technology for injecting coal directly into the blast furnaces. One tonne of PCI coal used for steel production displaces about 1.4 tonnes of coking coal. Coals used for pulverised coal injection into blast furnaces have more narrowly defined qualities than steam coal used in electricity generation.

PCI Coals Used in Blast Furnaces

201146Mt200837Mt
201042Mt200739Mt
200931Mt199011Mt

Major Consumers of PCI Coals (2012) (excl. China)

Japan12.5MtGermany3.7Mt
South Korea9.4MtIndia2.9Mt
Russia4.6MtFrance2.3Mt

Steel Recycling

Steel is 100% recyclable, with some 450Mt of recycled steel consumed in 2004. The BOF process uses up to 30% recycled steel (scrap) and around 90-100% is used in EAF production.

Sources: IEA & World Steel Association
(Mt - million tonnes / e - estimated)

Read more on the WCA blog Extract