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Global steel production slides almost 3% in 2015

Global – World crude steel production totalled an estimated 1.623 billion tonnes in 2015, down 2.8% from the 1.67 billion tonnes of 2014. An increase in output was recorded by only one country among the leading 10 steel producers by volume – namely India, with a 2.6% gain to 89.6 million tonnes – while steel production fell in all regions of the world with the exception of Oceania which posted a rise of 4.6%, the World Steel Association (WSA) has confirmed.

China’s share of world crude steel production edged up from 49.3% in 2014 to 49.5% in 2015 despite a 2.3% drop in domestic production to 803.8 million tonnes. Production in Asia as a whole fell by the same percentage to just short of 1.114 billion tonnes.

The EU-28 produced 1.8% less crude steel last year at 166.2 million tonnes while the decline for Europe as a whole was 3.2% to 303.9 million tonnes. And in North America, the 8.6% drop in production last year incorporated a 10.5% reverse for the USA to 78.9 million tonnes.

Smaller crude steel production declines were registered in the following regions: South America (-2.5% to 43.9 million tonnes); Middle East (-0.5% to 29.8 million tonnes); and Africa (-0.2% to 15 million tonnes).

In December, world crude steel production for the 66 countries reporting to the WSA was 126.7 million tonnes for a decrease of 5.7% over the final month of 2014. Capacity utilisation was just 64.6% – equivalent to 4.9 percentage points below the figure for December 2014 and the lowest monthly rate in 2015.

Global capacity utilisation last year was 69.7% compared to 73.4% in 2014.

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