Asia – Global crude steel production jumped 5.3% from 1606.3 million tonnes in 2016 to 1691.2 million tonnes last year, with China producing a record-breaking 831.73 million tonnes to easily outstrip its previous high of almost 823 million tonnes set three years earlier. India (+6.2% to 101.371 million tonnes) almost pipped Japan (-0.1% to 104.661 million tonnes) to second place in the 2017 producer league table, according to figures released by the World Steel Association (WSA).
Next on the list comes the USA with an increase of 4% in its crude steel production last year to 81.64 million tonnes, followed by Russia (+1.3% to an estimated 71.34 million tonnes) and South Korea (+3.6% to 71.081 million tonnes).
The EU-28, meanwhile, upped its output by 4.1% last year to 168.682 million tonnes.
The world’s leading scrap importer Turkey was the only country among the top 10 producers globally to achieve double-digit percentage growth in its crude steel output during 2017; the production figure of 37.524 million tonnes exceeded the 2016 total of 33.163 million tonnes by 13.1%.
Turkey increased its scrap-intensive electric arc furnace (EAF) output by approaching 19% to 25.96 million tonnes in 2017 from 21.85 million tonnes in the previous year, the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association has reported.
A regional analysis of crude steel production in 2017 is encapsulated in the table accompanying this market report.
In December last year, crude steel capacity utilisation among the 66 countries reporting their statistics to the WSA was 69.5% – the only month throughout 2017 in which the figure dropped below 70%.