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Total production for all 12 months of last year came to almost 1.52 billion tonnes, compared with 1.5 billion tonnes in 2011, worldsteel said.

China’s crude production was about 717 million tonnes, up by 3.1% from 695 million tonnes, the figures showed.

Turkey emerged as the growth leader among the top-ten steel-producing nations, however, with 5.2% growth to almost 36 million tonnes in 2012, from 34.1 million tonnes produced in 2011.

India lagged almost a full percentage point behind Turkey at an estimated 76.7 million tonnes produced in 2012, growth of 4.3% from 73.6 million tonnes produced in the previous year.