Global – After setting a record in 2017, global crude steel production continued its uptrend in early 2018. Output across the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (WSA) totalled 139.439 million tonnes for an increase of 0.8% over the 138.268 million tonnes recorded in the opening month of 2016. However, capacity utilisation was 0.2 percentage points lower year on year at 70%.
Among the leading steelmaking nations, Turkey registered this January’s largest year-on-year increase in production of 7.6% to 3.174 million tonnes, followed by South Korea (+2.7% to 6.125 million tonnes), India (+2.5% to 9.028 million tonnes) and Brazil (+1.3% to 2.866 million tonnes).
From the regional perspective, the EU-28 upped its output by 1.4% to 14.391 million tonnes whereas double-digit gains were reported by Africa (+15.1% to 1.285 million tonnes), Oceania (+11.6% to 552 000 tonnes) and the Middle East (+11.4% to 2.918 million tonnes), the WSA notes.
However, some of the world’s largest crude steel producers – including the biggest of them all, China – witnessed lower production this January.
Chinese output fell 0.9% year on year to 67 million tonnes while declines were also reported for the USA (-2.2% to 6.822 million tonnes) and Russia (-3.9% to 5.7 million tonnes).
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