Global crude output up 1.2% in February

Global crude steel production in February grew 1.2% to more than 123 million tonnes, up from just under 122 million tonnes in the same month in 2012, the World Steel Association (Worldsteel) said on Wednesday March 20.

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China emerged as the only country in Asia to report higher crude production with a 9.8% increase to 61.8 million tonnes, from 56.3 million tonnes, Worldsteel said.

Japan saw a 3.4% fall to 8.32 million tonnes, from 8.61 million tonnes.

The Chinese increase offset decreases across the rest of Asia, however, leading to an overall 5.9% increase for the region to 83 million tonnes, up from 78.3 million tonnes in February 2012.

Crude steel production in the EU27 fell from 14.2 million tonnes in February 2012 to 13.4 million tonnes in the same month this yea, a 5.6% drop.

Hungary saw the largest drop, with output plummeting 70.1% to 37,000 tonnes, from 124,000 tonnes, Worldsteel said.

Steelmaking in the UK, meanwhile, was up 70% to 882,000 tonnes, from 562,000 tonnes a year earlier.

Crude production by non-EU states in Europe fell by 3.9% to 2.79 million tonnes, from 2.9 million tonnes in February 2012, with a 40.4% crude production hike in Bosnia-Herzegovina to 55,000 tonnes, from 39,000 tonnes, helping to limit the decline.

The CIS reported a 9.7% decrease to from 8.92 million tonnes to 8.05 million tonnes, Worldsteel said, aided by a double-digit fall in Kazkahstan.

Crude output in Kazakhstan fell 47.4% to 155,000 tonnes, from 295,000 tonnes.

Russia’s crude production totalled 5.16 million tonnes, a drop of 11.9% from last February’s 5.86 million tonnes.

In North America, crude steel production was down to 9.24 million tonnes in February, a 9.3% decrease from 10.2 million tonnes in the same month of 2012.

Production in Trinidad & Tobago recorded an 11% increase to 53,000 tonnes, from 48,000 tonnes, Worldsteel said.

The drop in South America’s total crude steel production was only slightly higher than that in North America at 9.4% to 3.42 million tonnes, from 3.78 million tonnes – a 6.2% drop in production in Brazil from 2.8 million to 2.63 million tonnes, plus a full stoppage in Uruguay, being the main causes.

Double-digit drops in Algeria and South Africa helped crude production in Africa and the Middle East slide 5.6% to 2.94 million tonnes, from 3.11 million tonnes, according to Worldsteel figures.

Australia and New Zealand, meanwhile, each reported increases in their crude production, pushing up total production in Oceania to 505,000 tonnes, from 454,000 tonnes.

The crude steel production figures come from 63 countries, which accounted for 98% of total world crude production in 2012, Worldsteel said.

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