ArcelorMittal posted a net loss of $780M in Q4 2010 due to higher raw material prices and the cost of spinning off its stainless steel unit.

The loss compared with a year earlier profit of $1.11bn. The world’s largest steelmakers predicted 2011 would be a better year than 2010.

"Although 2010 continued to be a challenging year, as anticipated we saw a slow and progressive recovery," said Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal.

"The gradual underlying demand recovery continues and we expect 2011 to be stronger than 2010."

Crude steel production for Q4 was 21.6mt compared to 22.2Mt for Q3. For the full year production was 90.6Mt compared to 71.6Mt in 2009.