Global raw steel production declined -2.4% in April, falling to 132,116,000 metric tons from a revised total of 135,354,000 metric tons in March. The World Steel Association, the Brussels-based trade group that represents steelmakers in 63 countries, supplied the results. The April tonnage represents an improvement of 1.2% over the April 2012 results.
“Raw” describes the primary product of electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, prior to metallurgical refining and casting into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. World Steel’s monthly report totals the global carbon and carbon alloy steel output; Stainless steels and other specialty alloy steels are not included.
The April tonnage brings the 2013 global steel production total to 521,283,000 metric tons nearly 10,000 tons or 1.9% more than the four-month total for 2012.
As is typical, China led all countries in steel production during April, with 65.65 million metric tons produced, 6.9% more than the March total and 6.8% more than the April 2012 result.
For the year to date, Chinese raw steel production totals 258.1 million metric tons, 8.4% more than China’s result for the January-April 2012 period.
The rest of Asia produced 88.5 metric tons during April, a -1.7% decline from the region’s March output.
Japanese steelmakers produced 9.2 million metric tons during April, a 1.0% increase versus April 2012. Producers in South Korea had a raw-steel output of 5.5 million metric tons during April, a -6.3% decline versus the April 2012 result.
E.U. Steelmakers Losing Pace
Total European Union (27 countries) raw steel output during April was 14.066 million metric tons, a decline of -3.63% from March’s output, and down -4.9% from the April 2012 result. For the first four months of this year, EU steelmakers have produced 55.3 million metric tons, indicating a decline -5.7% from the January-April 2012 total for the region.
Germany’s steelmakers produced 3.7 million metric tons of raw steel during April 2013, declining -6.6% from March and -0.9% from the April 2012 result. Italy’s output was 2.1 million metric tons, falling -3.9% from March and -11.6% from April 2012.
Spain produced 1.4 million metric tons of raw steel in April, rising 3.0% over the March result and 10.3% over April 2012’s tonnage. In France, the April raw steel output was 1.245 million metric tons, down -6.9% from the March total and -12.3% from the April 2012 total.
Steelmakers in the U.S. produced 7.258 million metric tons of raw steel in April 2013, down just -0.004% from the March output of 7.291 million metric tons. The latest month’s result was down by -7.3% on the April 2012 output.
U.S. year-to-date raw steel production stands at 28,764 million metric tons, down -7.3% versus the comparable four-month period of 2012
In Brazil, steelmakers produced 2.965 million metric tons during April, a 2.45% rise over the March result, and a -1.6% decrease from the April 2012 result. The January-April period has seen Brazilian steelmakers produce 11,310 million metric tons, a -3.6% decline versus the comparable period of 2012.
In addition to production totals, the World Steel Assn. reported that global raw-steel capacity utilization rose to 80.0% in April, from 79.1% in March 2013. Compared to the April 2012 utilization rate, the current result is of by -2.0%.