Global – In the first five months of 2017, global crude steel output bettered the total for the corresponding period of last year by more than 31 million tonnes. The 67 countries reporting their figures to the World Steel Association produced 694.876 million tonnes – or 4.7% more than the 663.663 million tonnes of January-May 2016.
During May itself, production was 2% higher year on year at 143.325 million tonnes.
Overall capacity utilisation for the month was 71.8%, which is 0.5 percentage points higher than May 2016 but 1.8 percentage points lower than April this year.
Although China’s National Development & Reform Commission recently confirmed that more than 42 million tonnes of domestic crude steel capacity was cut in the first five months of 2017, the country still produced 4.4% more steel over that period; the total of 346.833 million tonnes was 14 million tonnes greater than that for January-May 2016.
When making the same comparison, production in India was 7.4% higher at 41.822 million tonnes while Japan’s output climbed 1.5% to 43.936 million tonnes.
Following a year-on-year increase of almost 10% in May, Turkey’s crude steel production amounted to 15.093 million tonnes across the opening five months of 2017 for a year-on-year plus of 11.5%.
Similarly substantial increases for the five-month period were recorded by South America (+11.3% to 17.69 million tonnes), Africa (+12.1% to 5.629 million tonnes) and the Middle East (+9.3% to 12.828 million tonnes).
January-May gains were more muted for the EU-28 (+4.1% to 71.712 million tonnes), the USA (+2.2% to 33.978 million tonnes) and Russia (+2% to 29.835 million tonnes, including a 1.5% year-on-year decline in May).
Among the world’s leading crude steel producers, only Ukraine failed to improve on last year’s January-May total (-15.8% to 8.91 million tonnes).