World crude steel production rose 8.8% in the three months of 2011 compared with the year-earlier period, the World Steel Association reported April 20.
Global production rose 7% over March 2010.
Production for the 64 countries reporting to the association was 129 million metric tons in March and 372 million metric tons for the first quarter.
The global capacity utilization ratio in March declined nearly one percentage point from February to 81.9%. The utilization ratio was 2.5 percentage points higher compared to March 2010.
North America's crude steel production in the first three months rose 6% to 28.9 million metric tons.
In the first quarter Asia produced 237.3 million metric tons of crude steel, an increase of 9.1% over the first quarter of 2010. The European Union produced 45.6 million metric tons of crude steel in the quarter, a 6.9% increase.
China's crude steel production rose by 9% in March.
Japan's production declined 2.7% in March, but the country's first-quarter production rose 4.4% to 27.7 million metric tons.