SMS hot billets run-out SMS AG
Raw steel is the product of basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, such as billets (shown here), blooms, and slabs. After rolling the billets to final dimensions, steel billets are used to form a range of commodity-grade and specialty bar, rod, and wire products.

Global Steel Output Up Again in February

Tonnage rose 3.5% year-over-year to 131.8 million metric tons.

Steel production totaled 131.8 million metric tons worldwide during February, a 9.0% decline from January but still 3.5% higher than the February 2017 global total. Through the first two months of this year, steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 276.65 million metric tons, 4.0% higher than last year’s January-February total.

World Steel Assn. tracks raw-steel output and capacity utilization by steelmakers in 64 nations, which accounts for about 99% of total raw-steel production worldwide. Raw steel is the output of basic-oxygen and electric-arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, like billets, blooms, and slabs.

Global raw-steel capacity utilization during inched up 0.5% from January 73.3%. That figure is 1.8% higher than the February 2017 utilization rate.

World Steel Assn.Feb 2018 Raw Steel

Global steel production increased 3.5% year over year during February, but fell more than 9% in volume from January 2018 — mainly due to declines in China and elsewhere in Asia during the month.

Chinese raw-steel production was estimated at 64.9 million metric tons for February 2018, 9.02% less than during January but 5.9% more compared to February 2017. For the current year to-date, the Chinese industry has produced 136.8 million metric tons of raw steel, 5.9% more than last year’s January-February total.

In India, raw-steel production fell 6.58% from January to 8.43 million in February, which is 3.43% higher than the February 2017 total. Through the first two months of 2018, Indian raw-steel production is 17.5 million metric tons, up 2.94% year-over-year.

Japanese steelmakers produced 8.3 million metric tons of raw steel during February 2018, 8.09% less than during January but just 0.5% less than during February 2017. The January-February 2018 total is 17.3 million metric tons, just 0.1% less than last year’s comparable figure.

The South Korean producers’ raw-steel output during February 2018 was 5.4 million metric tons, falling 13.95% from the January and 2.1% from the February 2017 totals. The year-to-date raw-steel output is 11.7 million metric tons, 1.9% higher than 2017’s comparable figure.

February raw-steel production declined outside of Asia, too. In the EU, raw-steel production across the 28 nations totaled 13.35 million tons during February 2018, 6.95% less than during January but nearly even (-0.75%) with the February 2017 result. Through February, the EU regional total for raw-steel production is 27.7 million metric tons, also nearly even (+0.2%) with the January-February 2017 total.

The largest steelmaking country in the EU, Germany, had raw-steel production estimated at 3.34 million metric tons during February 2018, 9.7% less than during January and 3.2% less than during February 2017. For the year-to-date, Germany’s steel industry has produced 7.04 million metric tons, 0.8% less than last year’s two-month output.

Italy’s steelmakers produced 2.09 million metric tons of raw steel during February 2018, 3.8% more than during January and 4.5% more than during February 2018. The two-month total for 2018 raw-steel production in Italy is 4.11 million metric tons, 4.8% higher than last year’s January-February result.

The French steel industry produced 1.3 million metric tons of raw steel during February 2018, 8.77% less than during January but 1.0% higher than during February 2017. The 2018 YTD total for raw-steel production in France is 2.6 million metric tons, 2.0% higher than the previous year’s two-month total.

In Spain, February raw-steel production declined 4.2% from January to February, to 1.1 million metric tons. That figure is just .045% over the February 2017 total, and brings the YTD total for Spain to 2.28 million metric tons, 0.3% lower than last year’s comparable total.

Russian steelmakers produced an estimated 5.15 million metric tons during February 2018, 9.65% less than during January and 5.7% less than during February 2017. The nation’s January-February raw-steel production total is 10.8 million metric tons, 4.8% less than during the same period of 2017.

In Ukraine, February raw-steel production declined 9.5% from January to an estimated 1.9 million metric tons. That total is 11.2% higher than during February 2017, and it raises the year-to-date production total to 4 million metric tons, 4.9% higher than the two-month total for 2017.

Turkish steelmakers produced 2.99 million metric tons during February 2018, 5.6% less than during January and 8.7% more than during February 2017. Their year-to-date output is 6.2 million metric tons, 8.1% higher than last year’s January-February result.

In Brazil, February raw-steel production totaled 2.7 million metric tons, 5.3% less than during January and 5.5% more than during February 2017. The January-February total for Brazil is 5.58 million metric tons, 3.33% higher than 2017’s comparable two-month result.

Lastly, in the U.S., raw steel production fell 6.45% from January to February, to 6.45 million metric tons (7.1 million short tons.) That is 0.4% higher than the February 2017 result, and brings the current YTD total to 13.34 million metric tons (14.7 million short tons), a drop of 0.5% from last year’s comparable total.

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