Global – After all the debate in 2016 about the need for production cuts rather than capacity reductions, global crude steel output ended the year 0.8% or 13 million tonnes higher than in 2015 at more than 1.628 billion tonnes.
Chinese production alone increased by approaching 10 million tonnes or 1.2% while India continued its growth of recent years by posting an output gain of 6.6 million tonnes or 7.4%, according to latest figures from the World Steel Association (WSA).
For the 66 countries reporting to the organisation, crude steel capacity utilisation was 69.3% last year – lower than the 69.7% of 2015. Year-on-year production increases were evident almost across the board in December last year: among the world’s leading steelmaking nations, only Brazil (-12.7%) and South Korea (-0.2%) reported lower outputs than in the final month of 2015.
In contrast, double-digit production surges were recorded in the EU-28 (+13.6%), the USA (+11%), India (+15%), the Middle East (+20.8%) and Oceania (+19.6%), while substantial increases were also registered in December 2016 by Russia (+8%), Turkey (+6.2%) and Africa (+9.6%).
The capacity utilisation average for all the countries supplying data to the WSA was 68.1% in the closing month of 2016 as against 65.3% for December 2015.
The crude steel production total for these same countries was 7 million tonnes higher than in the final month of 2015 at a fraction over 134 million tonnes.