Production

This section mainly relates to crude steel, which is the preliminary stage of the finished commercial products that Sweden's steel companies manufacture.

During 2017, 4.9 million tonnes of crude steel was produced in Sweden – an increase of 2 per cent compared to 2016. 

The actual production of finished steel products (e.g. plate, strip, rod, wire and tube) is not measured; on the other hand the deliveries of these products from the steelworks are recorded.
Read more about deliveries and steel comsumption.

Swedish crude steel production, kton
Graf: Swedish crude steel production per month

The two primary materials for the production of crude steel are pig iron, made from iron ore, and scrap. About two-thirds of the total crude steel production in Sweden is based on iron ore. The diagram below shows the production development for pig iron and crude steel.

Swedish production of pig iron and crude steelSwedish production of pig iron and crude steel

Iron ore-based steel is produced in oxygen furnaces (LD converters) with pig iron as the main feedstock. The remaining share of the steel is produced in electric arc furnaces with steel scrap used as the feed material. The diagram below shows how different production processes in terms of share of the total crude steel production have succeeded one another since 1970.

Swedish crude steel production by processes
Swedish crude steel production by processes

To retain their position in the global market, Swedish steel companies have focused their production on more advanced steel qualities. This has meant that the share of so-called alloy steel – which also encompasses stainless steels – has steadily increased. At present, almost 60 per cent of the total production comprises alloy steel. In the rest of the EU, as in the USA and Japan, alloy steels comprise only 10–15 per cent of the production total. This share is even lower in other parts of the world. The diagram below shows how the distribution of grades has evolved since 1990.

Swedish crude steel production by qualitySwedish crude steel production by quality

Residual products

The production of iron and steel products also gives rise to a range of residual products, a collective term for by-products, material for internal circulation, recycling and waste.

In 2016, about two million tonnes of residual products were produced by the Swedish steel and iron industry. About two-thirds of the total production of residuals are metallurgical slags. About 36 per cent of the total is used externally, e.g. is sold as products, 39 per cent is reused in the production process, and 25 per cent is disposed of in landfill.