China’s steel industry recovered quickly after the initial outbreak of the pandemic led to a 1.6% y-o-y slip in March 2020 to 79Mt. For the past 12 months, China's average monthly crude steel production has increased 9.5%, while the Rest of World (RoW) has decreased by 6.7%.
While this divergence was more pronounced during April to August last year (when blast furnaces operations temporary shut-down), this gap has recently begun to normalise. China was fast to act on government stimulus which supported its steel industry as demand in infrastructure and residential construction increased.           What Next? During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic RoW monthly crude steel production (y-o-y) decreased by approximately 30% in April 2020. The impact of the pandemic slowly permeated RoW crude steel production levels as countries contained the virus at different time periods. In contrast, China’s eight-week lockdown during January and February 2020 was short and sharp. RoW monthly crude steel production did not record positive results until November 2020 with 3.4% y-o-y. Moving forward, governments around the world have taken on