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Raw steel is produced in basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, including billets (shown here.) After rolling, these billets will be converted to commodity-grade and specialty bar, rod, or wire products.

World Steel Production Inching Upward, Again

Oct. 29, 2018
Tonnage rose less than 1% from August to September, but year-to-date output has passed 1 billion and is 5.4% higher than the nine-month total for 2017.

Global steel production rose only slightly from August to September, but overall production levels remain high — up 4.4% year-over-year. In its latest monthly summary, the World Steel Assn. reported September output totaled 151.7 million metric tons of raw steel, 0.3% higher than the August total but raising the year-to-date tonnage total to 1.35 billion metric tons, 5.4% higher than the nine-month total for 2017.

The World Steel Assn. reports raw-steel output for 64 countries, representing about 99% of the world’s raw-steel production output.

Raw steel is produced in basic-oxygen and electric-arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, like billets, blooms, and slabs. Recently, World Steel issued its semi-annual short-range outlook and pegged the current year’s demand volume at 1.66 billion mt — 42 million metric tons higher than the last forecast six months ago. It added that the risks to demand growth also have increased during the interim period.

Chinese raw-steel output rose 0.65% from August to September, totaling 80.8 million metric tons for the month, or more than half of the global output for the month. That figure signifies a 7.5% rise over the September 2017 comparable 2017 figure, and brings Chinese year-to-date raw-steel production to 699.4 million metric tons (again, more than half of the global total.)

In the European Union, September raw-steel output rose 11.9% from August to 13.9 million metric tons. The new total is just 0.2% higher than last September’s output, and the regional YTD total has risen just 1.35% compared to January-September 2017.

U.S. raw-steel production during September totaled 7.25 million metric tons ( 7.99 million short tons), 3.0% less than the August result but 5.32% higher than the September 2017 total. At 64.17 million metric tons (70.7 million short tons), U.S. year-to-date raw-steel output is up 4.5% over last year.

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