World Steel Output Down 8% in 2009

However China's output increased 13.5%

As the economic crisis pounded major producing countries, world steel output fell by 8% last year, the World Steel Association said on Jan. 22.

World crude steel production reached 1.22 billion tons in 2009, with big drops in output in North America, South America, the European Union and the ex-Soviet bloc, the association said.

China's output soared to 567.8 million tons, a 13.5% rise which represents a record annual crude steel production figure for a single country.

China increased its share of global steel production to 47% last year from 38% in 2008, by far the largest in the world.

India's crude steel production rose by 2.8% to 56.6 million tons and the Middle East also showed positive growth.

Output in Japan, the world's second biggest producer, sank by 26.3% to 87.5 million tons.

Production sank by 36.4% to 58.1 million tons in the United States, 29.7% to 139.1 million tons in the European Union and 12.5% to 59.9 million tons in Russia.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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