Following a year of record profitability, productivity and revenue in 2020, the top metal manufacturers continued this trend into 2021. According to the World Steel Association, global crude steel production rose 3.7% last year to 1.95 billion tonnes, reflecting the health of the industry. Whether it’s metal producers, steel service centres, tubes & pipes manufacturers or flat sheet manufacturers, one thing is clear – the metals industry is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. With this in mind, let’s look at the top 10 metal manufacturers in 2021.
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Coming in at the number one spot, we have China Baowu Steel Group Corp, commonly known as Baowu. The company is the world’s largest steelmaker and a leading producer ofsteel plates, strip steels, hot-rolled steels, cold-rolled steels, steel wires, and more.
Alongside being the highest-earning company on the list, Baowu is also the most ambitious when it comes to production capacity. Its steelmaking entities span eight provinces and two municipalities, with annual crude steel production of approximately 131 million mt.
And impressively, the company is aiming to reach an annual crude steel output of 200 million mt by 2025. The future’s looking bright for Baowu!
2021 was an excellent year for ArcelorMittal. The company generated approximately $76.5 billion in revenue, up from $53.27 in 2020. They’re also one of the biggest employers on the list, with 158,000 people working there as of 2021, some 10,000 less than in 2020, but still impressive nonetheless. Last year, the company produced 69.1 million metric tonnes of crude steel and 50.9 million metric tonnes of iron ore.
Reaching the number three spot this year, we have the South Korean steelmaker Pohang Iron and Steel Co, also known as POSCO. Last year POSCO achieved an operating profit of $7.62 billion, or KRW 9.24 trillion, compared with KRW 2.40 trillion in 2020. In addition, the company produced an impressive 38.26 million mt of crude steel in 2021 and the company’s finished steel sales increased by 3.4% to 35.45 million mt. POSCO believes that increased demand and higher metal prices are the key factors that drove their success in 2021.
Dropping from the number three spot in 2020 to the number four spot for 2021, we have HBIS Group. The Shijiazhuang-based company is one of the world’s largest steelmakers. It is known for its competitive metal products, including heavy plates, hot rolled coil, pickling coil, wire rod, galvanised and colour coated coil, and more. HBIS’s 2021 profit jumped an eye-watering 58% while revenue grew 38%. The company hasn’t yet published its production output figures for 2021, but if its revenue is anything to go by, last year was a highly productive year for the Chinese metals giant.
With over 106,000 employees and a global production capacity of over 85 million tons of metal products per year, Nippon Steel is a significant player in the metal manufacturing industry. The company engages in various activities, including steelmaking, engineering and construction, urban development, and more. Nippon’s metal products include hot and cold-rolled sheets and coils, galvanised sheets, pipes and tubes, electrical sheets, wire rods, and high-strength steel.
Ansteel Group, also called Angang Group, is a Chinese state-owned steelmaker. The company has an annual production capacity of 39 million tons of raw steel. It also produces 3000 steel grades and more than 60,00 specifications of high-tech and high-value-added steel. In 2021, the company embarked on a new deal, merging and restructuring with Ben Gang Group Corporation. This process will create the world’s third-largest steelmaker! Lastly, Ansteel is committed to promoting the green and low-carbon transformation of the industry, with several projects in these areas.
Jianlong has 14 companies within the group, and collectively they produce 44.3 million mt of ore, including iron, copper, molybdenum, vanadium, and phosphate. In addition, the company has a smelting and rolling capacity of 40 million tons of crude steel. As of 2021, Jianlong Group employs a whopping 61,300 employees.
We have another entry hailing from Beijing, China – Shougang Group. With the help of its 90,000 employees, Shougang produces hot-rolling coils, cold-rolling coils, electric steel, heavy plates and long steel products. The company’s operating revenue totalled $21.04 billion in 2021, up 66.85% year on year. Shougang Group also enjoys an annual steel production capacity of more than 30 million mt, making it a competitive player in the metals industry.
2021 was a busy year for Shandong Steel Group, with the company producing 14.76 million mt of finished steel, 11.87 million mt of pig iron, and 14.78 million mt of crude steel. They also hope to boost their production capacity in 2022, aiming for 15.51 million mt of finished steel, 14.85 million mt of crude steel, and 12.44 million mt of pig iron. The company was formed in 2008 and has been going strong since! They currently have a 50,000 strong workforce.
Despite coming in last, Shagang‘s performance last year was nothing short of excellent. Shagang Group’s operating revenue totalled $2.9 billion in 2021, up 28.14% year on year. The company cites market opportunities, good performance of the steel industry, and boosted optimisation for its significant rise in revenue. The company manufactures hot-rolled strip coils, wide heavy plates, high-speed wire rods, ribbed steel bars, and other products.