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Steel: capacity utilisation hits new low in November

Global – Global steelmaking capacity utilisation slumped to below 67% in November 2015 – a low point in what was already a year of strife for the industry. The utilisation rate had spent the first half of the year above 70% but dived below this threshold for the ensuing five months.

The 66.9% recorded for November was four percentage points below the level of 12 months earlier and 1.4 percentage points down on October 2015, according to the World Steel Association (WSA). In the penultimate month of 2015, the 66 countries reporting their figures to the WSA produced 126.826 million tonnes of crude steel for a drop of 4.1% from the 132.227 million tonnes of November 2014.

Across the first 11 months of the year as a whole, global production fell by 2.8% – or approaching 43 million tonnes – to 1.471 billion tonnes. Only two of the world’s leading steelmaking nations produced more steel in the first 11 months of 2015 than in the corresponding period of 2014: India’s output was 2.8% higher at 82.092 million tonnes while Germany’s increased by a mere 5000 tonnes to 39.691 million tonnes.

Leading steelmaker China recorded a production drop of 1.6% in November, with the result that output across the first 11 months of the year was 2.2% or 16.6 million tonnes lower than in January-November 2014 at 738.38 million tonnes.

US steelmakers produced barely 6 million tonnes of crude steel last November for a year-on-year decline of 15.6%, while the January-November running total was down 9.7% at 73.138 million tonnes.

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