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The world’s largest steel producer, China, produced 3.2% less steel in January 2014 than in the corresponding month last year, at 61.6 million tonnes.

Production increased in the rest of Asia.

Japan produced 6.1% more steel year-on-year at 9.4 million tonnes, while South Korean production rose by 1.9% to 6.0 million tonnes.

Production in the 28 EU member states was up by 7.3% in January 2014, to 14.4 million tonnes.

Production in Europe’s largest steel manufacturing nation, Germany, was up by 2.2% to 3.7 million tonnes compared with levels a year earlier.

Both Italy and the UK recorded year-on-year production increases of around 30%.

Steel production in Italy rose by 27.8% to 2.2 million tonnes, up from 1.8 million tonnes in January 2013.

Italy’s average monthly production is usually just above 2 million tonnes, so the 27.8% increase came from a particularly low level in January 2013, Worldsteel told Steel First.

The UK recorded a 31.5% year-on-year production increase to 1.1 million tonnes in January 2014. Spain increased output by 11.1% to 1.1 million tonnes while steel production in France was unchanged at 1.4 million tonnes.

Steel production in Turkey fell by 0.9% in January to 2.8 million tonnes.

Russia produced 5.9 million tonnes of crude steel in the month, a 4.1% year-on-year increase, while Ukraine reported a drop of 13.5% to 2.5 million tonnes.

Steel production in the USA fell by 0.5% to 7.3 million tonnes, while Brazil saw production fall by 1.4% to 2.7 million tonnes.

The capacity utilisation ratio for Worldsteel’s 65 member countries was 74.4% in January, 2.5% lower than in January 2013, but 0.2% higher month-on-month than December 2013.