In 2018, a total of 1.8 billion metric tons of crude steel were produced worldwide. As of 2018, China accounted for over half of all steel produced that year, while the EU28 made up less than 10 percent of the market.
Since the financial crash in 2009, production in the UK has dropped to a low of 7.5 million tons in 2017, though 2013 and 2014 saw output increases. Also in 2017, the amount of pig iron manufactured totaled roughly 6 million tons, having decreased from a peak of 9.7 million tons produced in 2014. With production figures declining and more energy efficient means introduced, the iron and steel industry consumed only 2,677 gigawatt hours of electricity that same year, compared to 6,348 gigawatt hours used up in 2000.
Fabrication of metals has seen similar developments over the past few years. The amount of wire rods produced came to 704 thousand metric tons in 2017, which was less than half of the total made in 2004. Production figures of hot rolled steel plates also echo this decline, with 490 thousand tons in output recorded that same year.
Regarding imports, 9.7 million tons of iron ore were brought into the country in 2017, an increase compared to the previous year at 9.3 million tons. That same year, pig iron imports also rose, amounting to 50,000 tons.
As for exports, scrap metal sales to other countries came to nearly 9.4 million tons in 2017, which was the highest figure recorded in the past eight years. The main importer of UK made iron and steel products was Turkey, having bought 760.7 million British pounds worth of these items in 2018.