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Raw steel is produced in basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, such as billets (shown here), blooms, and slabs. After rolling the billets to final dimensions, steel billets are used to form a range of commodity-grade and specialty bar, rod, and wire products.

Expansion Steady in First-Half Global Steel Totals

Global raw-steel production declined slightly from May to June, but latest results show markets’ resilience

Global raw-steel production declined slightly from May to June, totaling 151.4 million metric tons in the latest monthly tally released by the World Steel Assn. Even so, the monthly total represents an increase of 5.8% over the June 2017 production total, and brings the year-to-date total for global raw-steel production to 881.5 million metric tons, a 5.03% increase over last year’s half-year total.

The results continue to prove the resilience of steel production during the past 18 months. Raw-steel production has expanded steadily after two years of weak demand and reduced output. Recently, World Steel Assn. forecast that demand for steel used in manufacturing and construction will continue to rise in 2018 and 2019, having regained stability during 2017.

In addition to forecast data, World Steel compiles and reports raw-steel output and capacity utilization by steelmakers in 64 nations, accounting for about 99% of total raw-steel production worldwide. Raw steel is the output of basic-oxygen and electric-arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished products, like billets, blooms, and slabs.

As for capacity utilization, for June 2018 the global industry registered a rate of 78.5%, up 1.0% from May and up 3.8% from June 2017.

World Steel Assn.

Through six months of 2018, world raw steel production had risen to 881.5 million metric tons, a rise of 5.0% over the January-June total for 2017.

 

In China, the world’s largest raw-steel producing nation, output totaled 80.2 million metric tons during June, just over 1% less than during May but 7.47% more than during June 2017. Through the first six months of 2018, China’s steelmakers have produced 451.2 million metric tons, 6.8% more than their output during January-June 2017.

The Japanese steel industry’s June production totaled 8.76 million metric tons, a drop of 3.7% from May but a 4.2% increase over June 2017 output. The nation’s year-to-date raw-steel output is now 52.9 million metric tons, 1.25% higher than last year’s first-half total.

Indian steelmakers produced 8.74 million metric tons of raw steel during June, nearly even (-0.13%) with May but 7.41% higher than their comparable output during June 2017. For the January-June period, India’s steel industry has produced 52.8 million metric tons, 5.05% more than last year’s comparable output.

The South Korean industry produced 6.12 million metric tons of raw steel during June, a decline of 1.76% from May but a rise of 3.23% from June 2017 production. The nation’s YTD raw-steel output is 36.1 million metric tons, which is 3.66% higher than last year’s first-half result.

In the 28-nation European Union, June raw-steel production declined 3.67% from May to 14.4 million metric tons. That result is 1.26% higher than the region’s June 2017 production total, and brings the year-to-date total 87.34 million metric tons, a 1.56% increase over last year’s six-month result.

The largest producer in the region, Germany, posted June raw-steel output of 3.77 million metric tons, which is 3.33% less than the May result but 4.65% more than the June 2017 total. During January-June 2016, German raw-steel production stands at 22.45 million metric tons, or 1.06% more than the comparable 2017 figure.

Italian steelmakers produced 2.135 million metric tons of raw steel last month, 2.06% less than during May but 1.53% than during June 2017. Their first-half 2017 raw-steel output is 12.8 million metric tons, a 3.53% rise over last year’s six-month result.

French steelmakers produced 1.3 million metric tons of raw steel during June 2018, declining 5.12% from May and 4.38% from June 2017. The YTD result for France is 7.97 million metric tons, nearly even (+0.78) with last year’s total.

Spanish steelmakers’ June output was 1.295 million metric tons, down 3.14% from May but up 3.34% from June 2017. The January-June total is up to 7.46 million metric tons, 1.06% above the 2017 YTD result.

In Turkey, June raw-steel production declined 8.5% from May to 3.04 million metric tons, though that result is nearly even (+0.71%) with June 2017. Through the first half of this year, Turkish steelmakers have produced 18.89 million metric tons, a rise of 3.72% over last year.

The Russian steel industry reported June production totaling 6.12 million metric tons, nearly even (+0.71%) with May but 8.94% higher than the June 2017 result. The YTD total is 36.07 million metric tons, a 2.84% increase versus the first six months of 2017.

Raw steel production in Ukraine totaled 1.7 million metric tons during June, dipping 0.94% from June but up 7.5% over the June 2017 result.

In Brazil, raw-steel production slipped 3.3% from May to 2.59 million metric tons during June, and that represents a 2.23% decrease from June 2017. Brazilian steelmakers’ YTD production total is 16.86 million metric tons, nearly even (+0.88%) compared to the same period of 2017.

U.S. raw-steel production during June declined 5.7% from May to 6.8 million metric tons (7.49 million short tons), a result that is up just 0.8% compared to June 2017. Compared to last year, first-half 2018 output for the U.S. industry is up 2.88% to 41.85 million metric tons (46.13 million short tons.)

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