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World output edged higher in January - 22 February 2012

Crude steel production

Thousand tonnes. Source: WSA

 

January
2012

January
2011

%
change

EU 27

13,920

14,744

-5.6

Other Europe

3,384

3.040

+11.3

CIS

9,404

9,541

-1.4

N. America

10,340

9,874

+4.7

S. America

3,798

3,746

+1.4

Africa/MidEast

1,549

1,571

-1.4

Asia

73,823

83,361

-11.4

Oceania

458

733

-37.5

Total

116,675

126,609

-7.8

World production of crude steel recorded a slight upturn in January over December, reaching 116.7m tonnes, but remained almost 8% below output in January 2011. The industry’s capacity-utilisation rate edged higher to 71.3% last month.

The World Steel Association said that China’s January 2012 production of 52.1mt (an estimate provided by the China Iron & Steel Association) was 13% less than the 59.9mt recorded for the same month last year. Other Asian countries also reported year-on-year declines with Japan down 10% and South Korea down 9%.

Compared with January last year, there were also falls in production in many other countries. The European Union’s output of 13.9mt declined 5.6% - falls in Germany, Spain, the UK and Belgium were only partially outweighed by increases in Italy, France and Poland.

Output in the CIS declined by 1.4% compared with January 2011. But production in Turkey rose by more than 14% in the same comparison.

The Americas also produced more steel than in January 2011. There were gains of 5.7% in the USA, 3.7% in Mexico, 0.9% in Brazil and nearly 10% in Argentina.

The sharpest fall was registered in Australia, where January production of 380,000t was 42% below the 657,000t made in the same month last year. That followed BlueScope Steel’s closure of one of its blast furnaces.

In a report sent to Steel Business Briefing, the World Steel Association said its monthly production report now covers 59 countries accounting for about 97% of global production. Five countries – Algeria, Iran, Libya, Morocco and Qatar – no longer report monthly output.

 

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