While crude steel output from the 66 steel producing countries reporting to industry body worldsteel saw a 2.8% year-on-year drop to 1.62-billion tonnes, South Africa managed to lift its output by 16.3% over the 12 months, delivering 7.6-million tonnes of steel and becoming the world’s twenty-first largest producer.
Although China remained the globe’s most prolific steel producer – delivering 808-million tonnes in 2015 – output narrowed by 2.3%, from 822.8-million tonnes the year before.
Neighbour Japan followed, with 105.2-million tonnes, representing a 5% narrowing on volumes delivered in the prior year, while India’s delivery of 89.6-million tonnes last year saw it lifting its yearly contribution by 26%.
The US, in fourth place, posted a hefty 10.5% year-on-year drop in output to 78.9-million tonnes, followed by Russia, whose steel production remained relatively flat, at 71.1-million tonnes, and South Korea, whose output narrowed 2.6% to 69.7-million tonnes in 2015.
Taking a regional perspective, steel production from the European Union dropped 1.8% to 166.2-million tonnes, with Germany producing 42.7-million tonnes – a 0.6% year-on-year drop – and Italy narrowing its delivery by 7.1% to 22-million tonnes.
Steel production in North America, meanwhile, decreased by 8.6-million tonnes to 110.7-million tonnes in 2015.
Crude steel output from the Commonwealth of Independent States fell 4.3% to 101.5-million tonnes.
Crude steel production from South America dropped by 2.5% to 43.9-million tonnes, while Brazil produced 33.2-million tonnes over the 12 months – a 1.9% year-on-year contraction.
World crude steel production in December narrowed 5.7% to 126.7-million tonnes, while the crude steel capacity utilisation ratio for the 66 countries dropped 4.9% to 64.6% in the last month of the year.
The average capacity utilisation in 2015 was 69.7%, compared with 73.4% in 2014.