Raw steel production rose slightly to 132,325 metric tons worldwide during July, an increase of just 0.5% over June’s 131,653 metric tons. The latest month’s result also shows a 2.7% improvement over the July 2012 figure, and the brings the seven-month total for global raw steel production to 921,641 metric tons, 2.0% over the January-July 2012 total.
The Brussels-based World Steel Association represents 64 countries, and its monthly report is details production and capacity utilization for “raw steel,” the primary output of electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, prior to metallurgical refining and casting into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. The monthly report totals the global carbon and carbon alloy steel output; stainless steels and other specialty alloy steels are not included.
The July improvement was not a global effect: in the European Union, raw steel output fell 5.4% from June, and declined 6.0 from July 2012. The region’s year-to-date steel production total is down 5.3% compared to the seven-month total for 2013.
The declines were more pronounced in some of the larger steel-producing countries in the EU region. German steel production fell 7.8% from June to July, to 3,397 metric tons; and is down 5.4% from July 2012.
Italian steel production rose just 0.5% from June, but is off the July 2012 pace by 8.5%.
In France, production declined 4.9% from June, to 1,131 metric tons; and also down 9.0% from July 2012. The year-to-date total is 9,335 metric tons, down 5.0% from the similar period of 2012.
The declines in output were registered in the C.I.S. region, where July production totaled 9,151 tons, 1.8% less than during June and 0.2% less than in July 2012. The region’s year-to-date total now stands at 63,797 metric tons, 3.2% less than the seven-month total for one year ago.
The largest part of the C.I.S. region, Russia, produced 5,748 metric tons of steel during July, which was a 0.9% increase over the June output. Compared to July 2012, Russian steel production was down 2.4%, and the country’s year-to-date total of 40,432 metric tons is 2.9% less than the seven-month total for 2012.
China, U.S. Set the Pace
The July results were generally more positive in Asia. Across the region, raw steel production rose to 89,090, up 1.4% from June, and up 4.9% from July 2012. Asia’s year-to-date production total is 618,230 metric tons, an improvement of 5.3% versus January-July 2012.
China, the largest steelmaking nation, had a July production total of 65,470 metric tons, 1.2% more than June and 6.2% more than the July 2012 result. The country has a year-to-date production total of 455,800 tons, 7.1% over the January-July 2012 total.
Japan, the second-largest steelmaker in the world, 9,297 metric tons during July, a 0.2% improvement over June and a 0.5% improvement from July 2012. Japanese production for the seven months of 2013 is 64,007 metric tons, 1.1% more than the January-July total for 2012.
South Korea’s steelmakers increased production 1.7% from June, to 9,297 metric tons. The result is down 5.8% from the July 2012 total, however, and for the year to date South Korea’s output is down 5.3%
North America’s steel industry showed the most improvement for July. Across the region, steel tonnage rose 2,3% from June and 0.1% from July 2012. The region’s 68,693 metric tons is seven-month total of is down 5.6% from the January-July 2012 period.
During July, U.S. raw steel production rose 4.8% from June, and 3.3% from July 2012. The year-to-date total is 50,670 metric tons, down 5.6% from the January-July 2012 period. The change in utilization from July 2013 is
Global raw-steel capacity utilization declined during July, down to 76.8% from 79.2% during June. The current figure is 0.8% less than the utilization rate.
The raw steel capacity utilization ratio for the 64 countries in July 2013 declined to 76.8% from 79.2% in June 2013. Compared to July 2012, it is -0.8 percentage points lower.