Raw steel production fell 5.09% worldwide from January to February according to the World Steel Association, finishing the month at 120.4 million metric tons. That total represents a 3.33% decline versus the February 2015 result, and brings the year-to-date production total to 247.3 million metric tons, down 5.24% compared to January-February 2015.
The output reductions were evident in nearly every reporting nation, particularly the large-volume producers in Asia, the European Union, and North and South America.
The Brussels-based World Steel Assn. tracks raw (or ‘crude’) steel production and capacity utilization on a monthly basis for its 66 member nations. Raw steel is the output of basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces that is cast into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. The Association reports tonnage and capacity utilization data for carbon and carbon alloy steel; data for production of stainless and specialty alloy steels are not included.
China has been the world’s largest steel-producing nation for over a decade. In February, Chinese steelmakers reported total production of 58.5 million metric tons, a decrease of 6.46% from January and down 3.96% compared to February 2015. Year-to-date, Chinese raw steel production is now 121 million metric tons, down 5.69% compared to last year’s two-month result.
Steelmakers in Japan produced 8.35 million metric tons of raw steel during February 2016, 4.8% less than in January and 1.02% less than in February 2015. Japan’s year-to-data result is 1.9% less than January-February 2015 total.
In India, February raw steel production fell 6.44% from January, to 6.94 million, which is 3.62% less than February 2015’s result. The nation’s total output for 2016 is now 14.36 million metric tons, 2.37% less than over the same period last year.
Across the 28 European Union nations, February raw steel production was 13.08 million metric tons, down 2.6% from January and down 6.33% from February 2015. Regional year-to-date production is down 6.96% from last year to 26.5 million metric tons.
Germany is the largest steelmaker in the EU, and one of the largest in the world, and its February result of 3.36 million metric tons is down 6.7% from January and down 4.27% from February 2015. The two-month total for January-February 2016 is 6.96 million metric tons, down 3.13% from last year.
In Italy, February raw steel production rose 6.99% from January to 1.93 million metric tons. That figure represents a 2.13% drop from February 2015, and brings the 2016 year-to-date production total to 3.73 million metric tons, a 3.7% decline from last year.
French steelmakers produced 1.317 million metric tons of steel last month, 1.14% less than in January but 2.64% more than in February 2015. The January-February total is 2.649 million metric tons, up 2.33% versus the comparable 2015 figure.
In Spain, February raw-steel output was 1.09 million metric tons, down 5.81% from January and down 8.93% from February 2015’s total. During the first two months of this year, the Spanish industry has produced 2.24 million metric tons of raw steel, a 9.2% year-over-year decline.
The Turkish steel industry produced 2.37 million metric tons of raw steel during February, down 8.79% from January but up 3.98% compared to February 2015. The January-February total is 4.97 million metric tons, up 2.3% compared to 2015.
Russian steelmakers produced 5.7 million metric tons of raw steel during February, up 1.94% from January but down 2.7% over February 2015. The country’s year-to-date total is 11.2 million metric tons, 6.75% less than the comparable result from 2015.
In the Ukraine, February raw steel production rose to 3.9 million metric tons, up 1.6% form January and up 24.08% from February 2015. The January-February total is 3.9 million metric tons, up 13.02% over the 2015 two-month total.
Steelmakers in Brazil produced 2.43 million metric tons of raw steel during February, just 0.7% less than in January, but 8.73% less than the year-ago total. For the first two months of this year, the total tonnage is 4.88 million metric tons, down 13.73% compared to last year’s figures.
The U.S. steel industry’s February production total was 6.4 million metric tons (7.05 short tons) of raw steel, 1.4% less than the January result but an increase of 2.9% compared to February 2015. The year-to-date tonnage stands at 12.82 million metric tons, a decline of 4.63% compared to the January-February 2015 total.
The global raw-steel capacity utilization rate during February was 66.2%, up slightly (0.9%) from January, but down 5.7% compared to the February 2015 capacity utilization rate.