billet cut-off BSW, Germany worldsteel / Gregor Schlaeger
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 are converted to commodity-grade and specialty bar, rod, and wire products.

Steel Production Still Expanding Worldwide

In August, global raw-steel output increased to 151.7 million metric tons, up 2.6% year/year

Now working into the second year of its global recovery, the world’s primary steel industry produced 151.7 million metric tons of raw steel during August. While that signifies a 1.5% decline from the July result, it indicates a 2.6% improvement over August 2017 and a 4.8% increase over the last year’s January-August total.

The data is supplied by the World Steel Assn., which reports global raw-steel tonnage figures for 64 countries, representing about 99% of the world’s raw-steel production. (Until recently, World Steel also supplied capacity utilization results, but has discontinued that line of data, for “antitrust reasons,” it stated.

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 Assn. forecast that demand for steel used in manufacturing and construction will continue to rise in 2018 and 2019.

World Steel Assn.World Steel Aug 2018 chart

Through August 2018, global steel output has risen to 1.14 billion metric tons, 4.8% higher year/year than the eight-month total for 2017.

Chinese raw-steel output slipped -1.1% from July to August, finishing the month at 80.3 million metric tons. That result is 2.7% higher than the August 2017 output, and raised the year-to-date tonnage for China to 583.6 million metric tons.

In the 28-nation European Union, August raw-steel production declined 11.3% month-to-month, to 12.6 million metric tons. Compared to August 2017 that represents a 1.4% improvement, and the year-to-date total of 114.2 million metric tons represents a 1.6% improvement over January-August 2017.

Steelmakers in the United States produced 7.46 million metric tons of raw steel during August 2018, an increase of 1.0% over July and of 5.1% over August 2017. Through eight months, U.S. producers’ raw-steel output for 2018 is 56.9 million metric tons, a 3.96% improvement over last year’s YTD total.

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