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World steel production falls more than 3% in February

Global – Very few of the world’€™s leading steel producers recorded an increase in crude steel output this February when compared to the same month last year, according to latest data from the World Steel Association (WSA).

For the 66 countries reporting to the WSA, combined crude steel production fell by more than 4 million tonnes – or 3.3% – to 120.412 million tonnes in the second month of this year for an average capacity utilisation rate of 66.2%; this compares to 71.9% in February 2015 and 65.3% in January this year.

Adding together the first two months of 2016, global steel production was lagging almost 13.7 million tonnes behind that for the same period last year at 247.285 million tonnes. Even India, which has registered significant steel output growth over recent months, witnessed a year-on-year downturn in February of 3.6% to an estimated 6.94 million tonnes.

Chinese production slid 4% to an estimated 58.515 million tonnes while the total for Japan was just 1% lower than in February last year at 8.355 million tonnes. In contrast, crude steel production in South Korea jumped 5% in February to an estimated 5.3 million tonnes, although its total of 10.967 million tonnes for the first two months of this year represented a year-on-year decline of 0.1%.

Russia saw its production dip by 2.7% to 5.666 million tonnes in February while the EU-28 total was 6.3% lower at 13.081 million tonnes, a decline outstripped by Brazil (-8.7% to 2.434 million tonnes), the Middle East (-7.1% to 2.175 million tonnes) and Oceania (-7.8% to 429 000 tonnes). Africa, meanwhile, saw its crude steel output tumble 26% in February to just 912 000 tonnes.

On the upside, Turkish output was 4% higher than in February last year at 2.37 million tonnes while increases were also recorded by the USA (+2.9% to 6.366 million tonnes) and Ukraine (+24.1% to 1.969 million tonnes).

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