Deliveries and steel consumption
What the steelworks deliver to their customers in Sweden or abroad are called "finished steel products", i.e. plate, strip, wire, rods, profiles and tube which are ready for delivery to customers.
A footbridge in Barcelona made of Swedish stainless steel. Photo: Outokumpu.
The steelwork's deliveries
Deliveries of finished steel products from the Swedish steel plants, in 2022, amounted to 3.2 million tonnes. These deliveries very largely went for export.
Steel consumption in Sweden
Swedish steel consumption grew steadily from the period 1939–1945 until the mid-1970’s. Following the oil crisis and the decline in the shipbuilding industry, consumption of steel actually fell by more than one third, for a few years, and remained at this level up to 1990. The sharp economic downturn that then occurred led to a further decline in consumption of steel over a couple of years. Subsequently, the consumption of steel increased steadily up to 2008 when the impact of the global financial crisis started to be felt.
From 2010 Sweden's apparent consumption of steel has fluctuated between 3.4–4.1 million tonnes per year until 2020, when the steel-consuming sectors' demand for steel temporarily fell as a result of the corona pandemic. After a seemingly rapid recovery, demand fell again in 2022.
The greater part of the steel consumed in Sweden is imported from other nations. This applies, above all, to standard steel grades that are no longer manufactured in Sweden. This is because the Swedish steel companies have specialised within different areas of expertise and now produce advanced steel grades and speciality steel products. This has led to a situation where most output of finished steel from the Swedish steel plants now goes for export. The diagram below shows how steel consumption has developed since the mid-1970’s.
Sweden’s per capita steel consumption 2021 was 402 kg, which is relatively high in international terms. The average for the 27 EU countries plus Great Britain was 345 kg per capita (according to World Steel Association). One explanation for the high steel consumption in Sweden is the engineering industry which consumes a high volume of steel.
The diagram below shows how per capita steel consumption has changed from 2011 to 2021, in different parts of the world.