North America Steel Production Continues To Slide

Compiled By Jill Jusko North American steel producers had little to smile about in October. Data released by the International Iron and Steel Institute show production in North America continued to decline last month, while the story was much rosier for steel producers on mainland China. Total steel production in October for the 64 countries reporting to the IISI was 69.2 million metric tons, a 74,000 ton increase over September's results but a 2.6% decrease over the same time period last year. In North America, however, the production drop-off was much more precipitous. Steel output declined 15.5% in October compared with the same month in 2000, while output in the U.S. decreased by 1.5 million tons, or 18.3%, compared with the same period a year ago. Through October, total annual U.S. steel output is down 11.4%. Total output for the U.S. in October was 6.65 million tons. Other significant steel output figures include:

  • Steel output on mainland China reached 12.3 million metric tons in October, a 13.7% increase over production in the same month a year ago. For the first 10 months of 2001, China's steel production is running 10.9% ahead of 2000.
  • Steel output in the 15 nations of the European Union reached 13.65 million tons in October, a 5% drop from a year ago. Overall steel production in the EU for the first 10 months of 2001 is down 2.1% from the same period a year ago.
  • Japan produced 8.41 million tons of steel in October, down 8.6% from its production in the same month a year ago. For the year, production in Japan is off by 1.9%
  • Russia's steel output in October reached 4.84 million tons, down 1.3% from its production one year ago. For the year, steel production in Russian is down just 0.1%. The 64 countries included in the IISI's database accounted for approximately 98% of total world crude steel production in 2000, the organization said.
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