The worldwide production of raw steel dropped from January into February, according to the latest report from the World Steel Association.
Production totaled 127.6 million metric tons, a drop of nearly 5%. It’s the second straight month of declines, and three out of the last four.
Global steel capacity utilization in February 2015 rose 3.8 percentage points from January, to 73.4%. That figure is -1.7 percentage points lower than February 2014, World Steel noted.
The association’s monthly report tracks raw (or crude) steel tonnage and capacity utilization across 65 countries. It notes that its participating countries represent about 98% of the world’s raw steel output.
Raw steel is the product of basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces, prior to metallurgical refining and casting into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. World Steel’s results include data for carbon and carbon alloy steel output. Stainless steels and other specialty alloy steels are not included.
China remains the world’s highest-volume steel producer, with a February output estimated at 65.0 million metric tons, down 0.7% from January but up 3.4% from the February 2014 output. China’s total production for the first two months of 2015 is reported as 130.5 million metric tons, down 1.5% from the year-to-date volume for 2014.