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China sets new steel output record in March

Asia – Global production of just under 145 million tonnes of crude steel in March (+4.6% year on year) contributed to a first-quarter total of 410.548 million tonnes – an increase of 5.7% over the 388.315 million tonnes of January-March 2016, according to latest statistics from the World Steel Association (WSA).

In March, China’s crude steel output entered uncharted territory in reaching 71.995 million tonnes – the highest for any single month. The country’s production amounted to more than 201 million tonnes across the first three months of 2017 for an increase of 4.6% over last year’s corresponding period.

India also broke new ground in producing an estimated 9 million tonnes of crude steel in March to give a total for the opening quarter of 25.762 million tonnes (+10.7% year on year).

Major gains were also recorded by Turkey, whose output surged 14.1% in the first quarter to 8.78 million tonnes, and by the USA and the EU-28, both of which posted year-on-year increases of 3.8% to, respectively, 20.401 million tonnes and 42.51 million tonnes.

Outputs in Russia and Japan were higher by, in turn, 4.1% and 1.5%.

Regionally, significant crude steel production hikes were reported for the first quarter by South America (+8.6% year on year to 10.388 million tonnes), Africa (+14.5% to 3.409 million tonnes), the Middle East (+10.9% to 7.501 million tonnes) and Oceania (+8.4% to 1.414 million tonnes).

Crude steel capacity utilisation among the 67 countries reporting to the WSA was 72.7% in March – two percentage points higher than in February and 2.2 percentage points ahead of March last year.

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