Crude steel output in Asia was also little changed last month, increasing by just 0.3% on the year to 95.05 million tonnes, the statistic released on Monday February 26 showed.

Vietnam, Pakistan and Thailand saw the largest increases in percentage terms in Asia.

In Vietnam crude steel production totaled 1.07 million tonnes, up 38.8% from 767,000 tonnes the year before. Pakistan’s output rose 11.8% to 425,000 tonnes, while Thailand’s increased by 12.2% to 414,000 tonnes.

The world’s largest steel producer, China, saw its production slide 0.9% to 67 million tonnes from 67.58 million tonnes in January last year amid winter production cuts.

Japan increased its steel production by 0.3% on a year-on-year basis to 9.03 million tonnes last month. It produced 9 million tonnes a year earlier.

India too produced 9.03 million tonnes of crude steel last month, up 2.5% compared with 8.81 million tonnes a year earlier.

Volumes increased in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East, while those in North America and the CIS dipped.

Overall, the utilization rates for mills in 63 countries worldwide averaged 70%, down 0.2% year on year.