ldquoCruderdquo or raw steel production remained in line with most trends but the largest regional producers China the US and Germany all recorded tonnage declines World Steel Association

“Crude” or raw steel production remained in line with most trends, but the largest regional producers (China, the U.S., and Germany) all recorded tonnage declines.

Global Steel Output Inched Up in September

Year-to-date total up 2.7% Chinese output -1.3% U.S. output -2.2%

Global raw steel production rose 1.6% from August to September, from 130.35 million metric tons to 132.5 million metric tons according to the World Steel Association. The latest figures are 6.1% more than the total for September 2012, and bring the year-to-date total to 1.186 billion metric tons, 2.7% more than the January-September 2012 tonnage.

Raw-steel capacity utilization for all 65 countries was 79.3% during September, up 3.4% from the August rate and up 2.1% over the September 2012 result.

The figures are reported by the Brussels-based World Steel Assn. for its 65 member countries. Its monthly report details production and capacity utilization for “raw steel,” the primary output of electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, prior to metallurgical refining and casting into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. The monthly report totals the global carbon and carbon alloy steel output; stainless steels and other specialty alloy steels are not included.

Asian nations have produced 795.1 million metric tons of raw steel during the first three quarters of 2013, 5.9% more than during same period of 2012. During the same period, the EU nations have produced 123.8 million metric tons, decreasing 4.2% from the same period of 2012; and North American steelmakers produces 88.9 million metric tons, a drop of 4.1% from their January-September 2012 results.

The C.I.S region — Russia, Ukraine, and the other former Soviet republics — produced 81.5 million metric tons of raw steel during the first nine months of 2013, 3.4% less than during the comparable period of 2012. Steel production in South America fell to 34.8 million metric tons, down 1.2% from January-September 2012.

China's Lead Safe, Despite Decline

China let all individual nations with 65.4 million metric tons of raw steel produced in September, a decline of 1.3% from the August result, but up by 11.0% compared to September 2012. The world’s largest steelmaker has produced 587.4 million tons of raw steel through the first nine months of this year, 8.0% more than during January-September 2012.

Japan, still the world’s second-largest steelmaking nation, produced 9.3 million metric tons of raw steel during September, up 1.5% from August and up 5.5% over September 2012.

South Korea’s steelmakers produced 5.2 million metric tons during September, up 5.6% from the previous month but down 8.7% versus September 2012.

Germany lead Europe’s steel producers with 3.6 million metric tons of output in September, 2.0 less than during August. The total was 1.4% more than Germany produced during September 2012, but the country’s year-to-date total is 1.3% less than during the January-September 2012 period.

Italy produced 2.1 million metric tons of raw steel during September, nearly double the 1.09 million metric tons produced during August  (up 95.8%), yet down 10.4% compared to September 2012.

U.S. steelmakers produced 7.2 million metric tons during September 2013, 2.2% less than during August but 6.3% more than September 2012. For the January-September period, U.S. producers’ output totals 65.2 million metric tons, 4.0% less than they produced during the first nine months of 2012.

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