China is foremost among several nations that produced more steel in January 2017 compared to the first month of 2016, according to figures collected and distributed by the Brussels-based World Steel Association (Worldsteel).
Global crude steel production for the 67 countries reporting to Worldsteel was 136.5 million metric tons in January 2017, a 7 percent increase compared to January 2016.
China’s crude steel production for the month was 67.2 million metric tons, an increase of 7.4 percent compared with January 2016. Worldsteel says this was “an apparently high percentage figure explained by the fact that January 2016 saw a marked dip in Chinese steel production.”
In January 2015 China produced about 68.6 million metric tons of steel, closer to its 67.2 million metric tons figure for January 2017. In January 2016, however, the nation’s steelmakers produced just 62.5 million metric tons of output, during a phase when steel companies there were suffering considerable financial losses. That was followed by a price and output rebound in March 2016, after the Beijing government introduced economic stimulus measures.
In addition to China’s January 2017 rebound, several other nations demonstrated increased steel output for the month. The United States produced 6.9 million metric tons of crude steel in January 2017, an increase of 6.5 percent compared with January 2016. Turkey’s crude steel production rose by 12.8 percent in January 2017 compared with the year before, thanks to 2.9 million metric tons of output.
Japan produced 9 million metric tons of crude steel in January 2017, an increase of 2.7 percent compared with January 2016, and in Europe Germany produced 3.6 million metric tons of crude steel in January 2017, an increase of 1.2 percent compared with January of the previous year.
Among the few nations showing a decrease in steel output were France (down 14 percent), Canada (down 11.7 percent) and Spain (down 4.2 percent).
The crude steel mill capacity utilization ratio of the 67 countries in January 2017 was 68.5 percent, some 3.4 percentage points higher than the January 2016 measure and up by 0.9 percentage points compared with December 2016.