Global production falls 1% year-on-year in August, worldsteel says

Worldwide steel production in August 2012 declined by 1% year-on-year, according to data released by the World Steel Assn (worldsteel) on Thursday September 20.

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Total output amounted to 123.7 million tonnes, compared with 125 million tonnes in the corresponding month in 2011.

China, the world’s largest producer, decreased its production by 1.7% year-on-year to 58.7 million tonnes, from 59.7 million tonnes in August 2011.

In contrast, other Asian countries saw rises in output, with Japanese production up by 3.3% to 9.21 million tonnes, while South Korea’s production increased by 2.8% to 5.67 million tonnes.

European output showed some of the biggest year-on-year reductions, with Germany’s production down by 7.1% compared with August 2011 to 3.36 million tonnes, and Italy’s output dropping by 15.5% year-on-year to 1.22 million tonnes.

Spanish and French production also fell by 10.3% and 7.2%, respectively. Output in Spain declined to 1.04 million tonnes from last year’s 1.16 million tonnes, while in France output decreased to 954,000 tonnes from 1.03 million tonnes in August 2011.

Outside the EU, Turkey’s output increased by 8.7% in August, to 3.04 million tonnes from 2.8 million tonnes a year earlier.

Worldsteel figures further showed that Russia produced 5.79 million tonnes of crude steel, an increase of 1.8% compared with 5.68 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

US production was lifted by 1.2% to 7.53 million tonnes from 7.44 million tonnes the year earlier, while Brazil’s output fell in August 2012 by 6.2%, to 2.84 million tonnes from 3.03 million tonnes in the same month in 2011.

Capacity utilisation in the 62 countries reporting to worldsteel declined to 75.5% in August 2012, from 79.4% in July this year.

Year-on-year, this represents a reduction of 3.2 percentage points from August 2011.