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Steel Makes the World Go Round

It’s hard to imagine how much steel we come into contact with on a daily basis. Whether it’s your mobile phone, the car you drive or the housing structure that you live in, it appears that steel is everywhere. And even though the steel industry can have volatile economic swings, globally steel is an industrial behemoth.

With that in mind, here are some interesting facts about the steel industry that is so ubiquitous in our lives:
  1. There are an estimated 3,500 different types or grades of steel, with more created every year by differing the amount and types of elements added to the process of creating it.
  2. The global steel industry is massive, ranking second behind only oil and gas in size. Over 1.6 million metric tons of steel were produced in 2016.
  3. China is the top producer of steel globally by a significant margin, followed by Japan and the United States.
  4. The largest steel production company by revenue is ArcelorMittal, located in Luxembourg, with 2016 revenue totaling approximately 57 billion U.S. dollars.
  5. Stainless steel consumption has grown over 80 percent worldwide in the past ten years, totaling over 35 thousand tons in 2016.
  6. The housing and construction industries are the largest consumers of steel, making use of around 50 percent of what is produced.
  7. It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of steel is recycled, making it one of the most recycled materials in the world, with 560 million metric tons consumed in 2016 alone. It can be recycled repeatedly and never lose its quality.
  8. More than 2 million people are employed in the steel industry directly worldwide, significantly more if including contractors and other industries associated with steel production.
  9. The Golden Gate Bridge was built using 83,000 tons of steel. If it were built today only about half of that amount would be necessary due to improvements in steel makeup and construction.
  10. The Eiffel Tower grows up to 18 centimeters in the summer as heat causes its steel structure to expand.
You don’t have to be Andrew Carnegie to appreciate the impact that steel has on daily life around the world. Its presence will continue to enhance our businesses and lives for many years to come.

Thomas W. Hamilton more

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