By all counts 2009 was a tough year in terms of steel production, but with a rebounding economy in many Western countries has led to a significant increase in steel production in 2010. According to worldsteel.org the first six months of 2010 has shown a 27.9% increase over the first half of 2009.
The countries that have benefitted the most from this surge in production are located in Asia and the Middle East. China still leads the world's steel production by a wide margin, but one of the interesting aspects of the changes in the market are that some non-traditional steel producers enter the marketplace. The graphs below detail the production of the top 10 steel producing countries for the first six months of 2009 and 2010.
2009 top 10 steel producing countries
2010 top 10 steel producing countries
While these countries show growth across the board, it is interesting to see that the top ten countries actually account for less of the total crude steel production in 2010. In 2009 these countries were accounting for 82.8 percent of the total production, which is down to 82.1 percent in 2010. As developing countries continue to build infrastructure in a developing economy, they will both consume more steel and be more capable of contributing to global production levels as well.