Production, Trade and Use of Steel across the World
Being first produced in 200 BC and first put on mass production in 1850s steel nowadays is arguably the most important material used in engineering and construction throughout the world. Being an alloy of iron and carbon, steel accounts for over 3500 various grades with different chemical, environmental and physical properties, 75% of which have been created in the past 2 decades.
As of 2012, it was produced 1,545 million tons of crude steel in the World with China being an absolute leader accounting for about a half of world's crude steel production, according to the data provided by World Steel Association.
Concerning international trade, Brazil is the biggest exporter of iron ore accounting for about one fourth of the world's iron ore exports, while China is the biggest importer. These and other statistics on annual and monthly dynamics of production of wide variety of steel products from World Steel Association is available below.