Trade in steel and aluminium (en)

2 mars 2018
ITC Nouvelles
What are the world biggest exporters and importers of steel and aluminium?



According to ITC's Trade Map, the European Union as whole is by the biggest exporter of steel. In 2016, it exported $109 billion worth of steel, which was its lowest output since 2009. While this confirms a global trend that semi-finished steel. the EU is responsible for 42% the world's exports.


Within the EU, Germany , Italy and the Netherlands led the pack. Interestingly, many smaller EU nations such as Malta, Slovenia, Lithuania have enjoyed positive export growth in the semi-finished steel sector.


Despite its biggest drop in value since 2011, China remained second, exporting $51.8 billion worth of steel in 2016. China's main markets for semi-finished steel are the US (17.3%), Japan (5.8%), South Korea (5%), Australia (3.1%) and Germany (2.8%). China's concentration of importing countries is low; this means, their trading partners are well diversified.


The US is the third-biggest exporter of steel at $17.4 billion, followed by South Korea at $11.1 billion and Japan at $9.4 billion.


The EU was also the world's biggest importer of steel in 2016. In fact, it increased its imports from the previous year by $1.2 billion, reaching $92.4 billion. Second came the US, which imported $33.5 billion worth of steel in 2016. However, we already know that this increased to $39.1 billion last year.


China, at third, imported 'only' $9.5 billion worth of steel in 2016, followed by Mexico at $8.7 billion and Canada at $8.4 billion.


USA's main suppliers for semi-finished steel are China (33.7% market share), Mexico (11.9%), Canada (10.3%), Chinese Tapei (7.1%) and Japan (5.55). US's concentration of suppliers is very high, this means their imports mainly came from only a few countries. China alone is accounted for 33.7% of the US steel imports.




In 2016, global aluminium exports were valued at $155.7 billion of which China had 13.6% market share. It was followed by the Germany at $15.3 billion and the US at $12.2 billion. Just like steel, China's concentration of importing countries is low while the concentration of suppliers to the US market is relatively high. At fourth, Canada exported $8 billion worth of aluminium in 2016, and Russia $5.9 billion, which was its lowest output since 2009.


At $58.4 billion - or a 37.5% market share - the European Union as whole is the world biggest exporter of aluminium, with Germany, Italy and France leading the pack. Worthwhile noting, though, is that aluminium produced in the EU is mainly traded among the member states.


The main suppliers of aluminium to the US are Canada (36.9% market share), China (16.4%), Russian (7.3%), United Arab Emirates (6%) and Mexico (4.7%). While the US is mostly a net importer of aluminium, it had had a $2.6 billion surplus in its aluminium trade with Mexico.



Top 5 exporters of steel (2016)

    1) European Union: $109 billion

    2) China: $51.8 billion

    3) USA: $17.4 billion

    4) South Korea: $11.1 billion

    5) Japan: $9.4 billion



Top 5 importers of steel (2016)

    1) European Union: $92.4 billion

    2) USA: $33.5 billion

    3) China: $9.5 billion

    4) Mexico: $8.7 billion 

    5) Canada: $8.4 billion



Top 5 importers of aluminium (2016)

    1) USA: $18.7 billion

    2) Germany: $16.7 billion

    3) Japan: US$ 6.9 billion

    4) France: $6.2 billion 

    5) China: $5.9 billion



 Top 5 exporters of aluminium (2016)

    1) China: $21.2 billion

    2) Germany: $15.3 billion

    3) USA: $12.2 billion

    4) Canada: $8 billion 

    5) Russia: $5.9 billion

Explore more data on exports and imports, visit Trademap.org and MacMap.org.


Explore more export potential, visit ExportPotential.intracen.org