Global – The world’s steelmakers achieved a long-time-high 74.5% capacity utilisation rate in March – outstripping February by 0.9 percentage points and March 2017 by a clear 2.2 percentage points, the World Steel Association (WSA) has revealed.
The 64 countries reporting their figures to the WSA produced a total of 148.33 million tonnes of crude steel in March for a year-on-year increase of 4%. For the first quarter as a whole, output climbed 4.1% to 426.551 million tonnes from the 409.761 million tonnes recorded for January-March last year. China upped its production by 4.5% in March to 73.98 million tonnes, with the result that its first-quarter total of 212.152 million tonnes was 5.4% or almost 11 million tonnes higher than that for the same period last year. India was the world’s second-largest crude steel producer in the opening three months of 2018 with a year-on-year increase of 3.7% to 26.689 million tonnes, closely followed by Japan (+0.7% to 26.403 million tonnes). There were also increases in first-quarter crude steel output in the USA (+2.2% year on year to 20.744 million tonnes), the EU-28 (+0.9% to 43.073 million tonnes) and Turkey (+7.9% to 9.54 million tonnes). Conversely, first-quarter declines were reported by Russia (-6.7% to 16.55 million tonnes) and Ukraine (-2.8% to 5.225 million tonnes). Among the different regions of the world, the Middle East witnessed the steepest first-quarter jump in crude steel production with a year-on-year gain of 24.4% to 9.403 million tonnes, with Africa posting an increase of 9.1% to 3.619 million tonnes.
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