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Global Steel Production Tops One Billion Tons YTD

Aug. 27, 2018
154.6 million tons produced in July represents a 5.8% year/year increase

The world’s primary steelmakers produced 154.6 million metric tons of raw steel during July, 1.5% more than the June total and 5.8% more than the July 2017 result. The latest tonnage results bring  total year-to-date raw-steel production to 1.04 billion metric tons worldwide, 5.0% higher than the seven-month total for 2017.

Global steel tonnage figures are supplied by the World Steel Assn., which compiles raw-steel production and capacity utilization figures from 64 countries, representing about 99% of the world’s raw-steel production. In addition to the production increase for July, the trade association reported global capacity utilization for raw steel production rose to 77.5% in July, up 3.8% over the July 2017 rate but 1.4% lower than the June 2018 rate.

Raw steel is the output of basic-oxygen and electric-arc furnaces, which is cast into semi-finished products, like billets, blooms, and slabs. Recently, World Steel Assn. forecast that demand for steel used in manufacturing and construction will continue to rise in 2018 and 2019.

The most significant source for raw steel is China, which produces about one half of the world’s total. During July, Chinese producers’ 81.2 million metric tons of raw-steel output was an increase of 1.3% from June and of 7.2% from July 2017. For the year-to-date, China has produced 532.8 million metric tons of raw steel 6.9% more than during the comparable period of 2017.

In the EU, July raw-steel production declined 3.7% from June, to a total of 14.5 million metric tons across 28 nations. The latest monthly total for the region is nevertheless 3.9% higher than last July’s total, and it brings the year-to-date total for the region to 101.9 million tons, a 2.0% increase over 2017.

In the U.S. industry, July raw-steel production totaled 7.3 million metric tons (8.05 million short tons), up 3.1% from the June total and up 4.5% from the July 2017 result. For the year to date, U.S. steelmakers have produced 49.3 million metric tons (54.3 million short tons) of raw steel, an increase of 3.6% over 2017’s January-June total.