Crude steel production in Asia for 2012 near 1bn tonnes, worldsteel says

Crude steel production in Asia in 2012 increased by 2.7% to more than 990 million tonnes, from almost 965 million tonnes in 2011, according to World Steel Assn (worldsteel) production figures published on Tuesday January 22.

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Besides increases of 3.1% and 4.3%, respectively in China and India, Taiwan saw a 2.4% increase to 20.7 million tonnes in 2012, from 20.2 million tonnes in 2011, worldsteel figures showed.

South Korea’s growth rate was half that of Taiwan at 1.2%, with output of 69.3 million tonnes in 2012, from 68.5 million tonnes in 2011.

Japan, the world’s second-largest steelmaker by volume, remained largely static at 107.2 million tonnes in 2012, from 107.6 million tonnes in 2011.

In Europe, crude steel production fell by 4.7 % in the EU27 bloc to slightly more than 169 million tonnes in 2012, from almost 178 million tonnes in the previous year.

Large double-digit declines in crude steel production in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia offset total crude steel production in worldsteel’s Other Europe category, keeping year-on-year growth to 1.9% at 37.9 million tonnes in 2012, from 37.2 million tonnes in the preceding year.

Crude steel production figures in Ukraine for 2012 gave the former Soviet republic the largest drop among the top-ten for 2012 to 32.9 million tonnes, down by 6.9% from the 35.3 million tonnes poured in 2011.

Besides decreases in Ukraine, an 18.1% drop in production in Kazakhstan added to the production fall across the CIS in 2012 by 1.2% to 111 million tonnes, from 112 million tonnes.

Russia’s crude steel output was up by 2.5% in 2012 to 70.6 million tonnes, however, from almost 69 million tonnes in 2011.

Notable increases in the USA, Canada and Cuba helped to boost North American crude steel production by 2.5% to almost 122 million tonnes in 2012, from about 119 million tonnes in 2011.

South American crude steel production fell by 3% in 2012 to 47 million tonnes, from 48.4 million tonnes seen in 2011.

Within the region, Brazil saw a 1.5% decrease in the year to 34.7 million tonnes, from 35.2 million in 2011, but production in Uruguay rose by 70.4% to 138,000 tonnes from 81,000 tonnes.

African/Middle East crude steel production was up by 2.2% to 34.5 million tonnes in 2012, from 33.7 million tonnes for the twelve months of 2011, worldsteel said.

Total crude steel production in Oceania was down by almost 20% year-on-year to 5.8 million tonnes, however, from 7.25 million tonnes in 2011.

A 23.6% production decline among Australian steelmakers helped bring down total production in the region, according to worldsteel figures.