While overall world crude steel production continued to decline, contracting 7.1% year-on-year in January, South Africa’s output grew 2.7% year-on-year to account for 650 000 t of the overall 128-million tonnes produced by the 66 countries reporting to industry body worldsteel.
In December 2015, world crude steel production decreased 5.7% year-on-year, with an overall decline for the year of 2.9%, while South Africa’s output surged some 20.8% year-on-year, reporting an overall 16.3% rise for the 12 months to December.
In January, China’s crude steel production fell 7.8% to 63.2-million tonnes, while Japan produced 8.8-million tonnes, a decrease of 2.8% compared with January 2015.
South Korea produced 5.7-million tonnes of crude steel in January, down 4.5% on the prior January, and India produced 7.4-million tonnes, a decrease of 1.2% compared with the comparative month the year before.
In the European Union, Germany also posted a decline in crude steel production, falling 2% to 3.6-million tonnes, while Spain and Italy recorded respective 9.5% and 5.3% year-on-year decreases to 1.2-million tonnes and 1.8-million tonnes of crude steel during the month under review.
Belgium, Finland, Greece and Poland all posted marginal production increases for the month.
Turkey’s crude steel production for January was 2.6-million tonnes, up 0.8% on that of January 2015.
Russia produced 10.6% less steel at 5.6-million tonnes, while the Ukraine expanded its crude steel production 3.6% to 1.9-million tonnes.
US steel production fell 8.8% to 6.6-million tonnes and Brazil’s crude steel production for January was 2.5-million tonnes, a contraction of 17.9% year-on-year.
The average capacity utilisation in January was 66%, 5.8 percentage points lower than January 2015 and 0.8 of a percentage point higher than in December.