World Steel Association
Bar graph of World Steel Association March numbers

Steel Output, Capacity Utilization Slowing Worldwide

April 24, 2015
First-quarter global raw steel tonnages have fallen behind the 2014 pace, confirming the recent short-range outlook.

Global raw steel production for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 138 million metric tons in March 2015, a 2.7% drop compared to March 2014. With a bit more than 400 million metric tons of steel produced worldwide during the first three months of this year, the year-to-date total of raw steel production is down 1.8% versus the first-quarter total for 2014.

The slowing production rate matches the conclusions of the WSA's recent short-range outlook for steel consumption, which forecasts an increase of just 0.5% this year over 2014, thanks to factors that include recession in China, falling oil prices, and uneven industrial recovery in the EU. March 2015 raw steel capacity utilization slipped to 71.6%, 1.8% lower than February 2015, and 4.0% lower than March 2014.

China led all nations in raw steel production volume during March, as usual, with 69.5 million metric tons, 12.2% more than the February total but 1.2% less than the March 2014 volume. Chinese steelmakers have produced 200.1 million metric tons during the first three months of this year, 1.7% less than during January-March 2014.

Read the full report on American Machinist, a companion site of IndustryWeek and part of Penton's Manufacturing and Supply Chain Group.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

About the Author

Matt LaWell | Staff Writer

Staff writer Matt LaWell explores news in manufacturing technology, covering the trends and developments in automation, robotics, digital tools and emerging technologies. He also reports on the best practices of the most successful high tech companies, including computer, electronics, and industrial machinery and equipment manufacturers.

Matt joined IndustryWeek in 2015 after six years at newspapers and magazines in West Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, a season on the road with his wife writing about America and minor league baseball, and three years running a small business. He received his bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University.

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