Global – Following a year-on-year increase of 3% to 68.57 million tonnes in August, Chinese crude steel production was only half a million tonnes lower across the first eight months of 2016 than for the same period last year at 536.32 million tonnes.
Indeed, all four of Asia’s leading steelmaking nations recorded year-on-year output gains in August, the others being India (+9.4% to 8.141 million tonnes), Japan (+1.5% to 8.918 million tonnes) and South Korea (+1.8% to 5.866 million tonnes).
Production was also 2.6% higher in the Middle East at 2.216 million tonnes while Turkey’s output surged almost 13% from 2.528 million tonnes in August 2015 to 2.853 million tonnes in this year’s corresponding month.
However, latest statistics from the World Steel Association confirm August production declines for all of the other leading steelmaking countries and regions, including the EU-28 (-1.4%), the USA (-3.4%), Russia (-1.9%), Ukraine (-4.1%), South America (-6.6%) and Africa (-6%).
The net result of this mixed performance was that the 66 countries reporting to the association produced a total of 134.125 million tonnes of crude steel in August for an increase of 1.9% over the same month last year.
At 68.5%, global capacity utilisation outstripped that for both August 2015 and July 2016 by, respectively, 0.5 and 0.1 percentage points.
Compared to 2015, world crude steel output was 0.9% lower in the first eight months of 2016 at 1.065 billion tonnes despite sizeable year-on-year gains of 5.6% for India, 4.7% for Turkey and 8.6% for Ukraine.