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Global Steel Output Outpacing Forecast for 2019

Production totaled 158.98 million metric tons during June, a 4.6% year-over-year increase. The YTD output is up 4.9% over January-June 2018.

Global raw-steel production totaled 158.98 million metric tons during June, a -2.43% decrease from May’s total but a 4.6% rise over the June 2018 result. Through the first six months of 2019, steelmakers worldwide have produced 925.06 million metric tons — a 4.9% rise over the January-June 2018 total.

The data is supplied by the World Steel Assn. in its monthly raw-steel production report, which represents producers in 64 countries comprising about 99% of the world’s installed raw-steel capacity.  (Stainless and specialty steel volumes are reported separately.)

With a nearly 5.0% edge over last year the global total is outpacing the 2019 demand forecast that World Steel issued at the end of the first quarter, in which it projected total global consumption of steel will increase 1.3% year-over-year to 1.735 billion metric tons. Expansion will be even smaller in 2020, rising just 1.0% year-over-year to 1.752 billion metric tons, it indicated.

The actual results are likely affected by regulation as much as demand, in view of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. against Chinese steel imports. Even so, the global tonnage increase in the first half of 2019 may be mainly attributed to Chinese production.

China’s raw-steel output during June 2019 was 87.5 million metric tons, an increase of 4.8% from May and of 10.0% compared to June 2018. For the year-to-date, Chinese steelmakers have produced 492.2 million metric tons, 9.9% more than during the January-June 2019. It’s notable that China’s regular monthly output now regularly surpasses the total of the rest of the world’s producers combined.

In contrast, the U.S. steel industry produced 7.3 million metric tons (8.05 million short tons) of raw steel during June 2019, 4.03% more than in May and 8.44% compared to June 2018. During the first half of 2019, U.S. steelmakers produced 44.34 million metric tons (48.9 million short tons) of steel, just 1.4% more than during the comparable period of last year.

Elsewhere in the world during June, the Asian region (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam) produced 660.2 million metric tons of raw steel, an increase of 7.4% over the first half of 2018.

Steelmakers in the E.U. produced 84.7 million metric tons of raw steel in the first half of 2019, -2.5% less than during the same period of 2018.

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