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Strong start to 2017 for world crude steel output

Global – In terms of the world’s major producers of crude steel, there was an almost full house of output increases in the opening month of 2017. Latest figures from the World Steel Association (WSA) reveal that, when compared to January last year, only France, Spain and Canada recorded year-on-year production declines among those countries with monthly outputs greater than 1 million tonnes.

Global crude steel production in January was 7% or almost 9 million tonnes higher than in the corresponding month of last year at 136.514 million tonnes. China accounted for around half of the increase in boosting its output by 7.4% to an estimated 67.2 million tonnes while production in India surged 12% year on year to an estimated 8.4 million tonnes from 7.5 million tonnes in the first month of 2016.

Double-digit percentage gains were also recorded by: Turkey (+12.8% to 2.93 million tonnes); Russia (+11.6% to 6.183 million tonnes); Brazil (+14.4% to 2.856 million tonnes); the Middle East (+13.5% to 2.567 million tonnes); and Africa (+15.6% to 1.168 million tonnes).

Also compared to the opening month of last year, US crude steel production jumped 6.5% to 6.874 million tonnes this January and the EU-28 registered an increase of 2.4% to 13.824 million tonnes despite the declines in France and Spain.

Japanese and South Korean crude steel output climbed, respectively, 2.7% and 3.2% while the increase for Oceania was 6.2%.

Crude steel capacity utilisation among all 67 countries reporting their figures to the WSA was 68.5% in January this year – equivalent to a gain of 3.4 percentage points over January 2016 and of 0.9 percentage points over December last year.

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