World Steel Association
World steel output totaled 132116000 metric tons during April dropping 24 from the prior month and resuming the lackluster pace that started the year

Global Steel Output Down in April, Up YTD

May 21, 2013
China’s annual total up 8.4%, year to date Japan, EU, U.S. totals all decline Global capacity utilization up 1%

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%.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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