Steel production worldwide totaled 134.1 million metric tons during August, rising only slightly (0.2%) from the July result and a bit higher (1.95%) than the August 2015 figure. Global raw-steel capacity utilization during August was just 68.5%, just 0.1% higher than the utilization rate for July, and 0.5% less than the rate during August 2015.
The data is drawn from the monthly summary issued by the World Steel Association, which tracks steel production and capacity utilization rates across its 66 member nations.
Raw (or crude) steel is the output of basic oxygen furnaces and electric arc furnaces that is cast into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. The World Steel Association reports tonnage and capacity utilization data for carbon and carbon alloy steel in 66 countries; data for production of stainless and specialty alloy steels are not included.
The relative stability indicated by the August production totals is noteworthy, coming after several months of falling output. Earlier this year, World Steel issued an outlook report predicting that the final 2016 raw steel production totals would show a year-on-year (-0.8%) decline in global steel demand. It forecast this year’s total raw steel production would be 1.488 billion metric tons, following last year’s -3.0% annual decline global steel production (1.62 billion metric tons.)