Raw steel production has declined in four of the six months of 2015, with decreased output in nearly all of the major steel producing economies (including China, Japan, Germany, and the U.S.), and the year-to-date production total is down 2.0% year-to-date.

Global Steel Output Continues to Decline

July 26, 2015
June’s -2.6% decline continues pace of falling tonnage, felt across major markets and regions Capacity utilization falling China cutting capacity U.S. output trailing year-ago pace

The world’s steelmakers produced 136 million metric tons of raw steel during June 2015, a decrease of 2.6% from May’s total tonnage and a 2.4% decrease from the June 2014 result. It is the fourth monthly decline during the first six months of 2015. During that time the global steel industry has produced 813.0 million metric tons, a 2.0% decrease compared to the January-June 2014 period.

Global steel tonnage figures are reported by the World Steel Association, a trade group that includes steelmakers from 65 nations. It reports data for raw steel production and capacity utilization on a monthly basis. The group reported raw-steel capacity utilization for the 65 countries slipped 0.1% from May to 72.2% for June. This is down 3.5% compared to June 2014.

During June, China’s raw steel production was 68.9 million metric tons, down 1.4% from the previous month and down 0.8% compared to June 2014. While China is by far the world’s largest steelmaking nation, in recent years it has been enforcing a policy to consolidate operations and eliminate obsolete production capacity. Even so, during the first six months of 2015 China’s steel output totaled 409.97 million metric tons, down just 0.71% compared to the first six months of 2014. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s steelmakers produced 8.6 million metric tons of raw steel during June 2015, 3.9% less than during May and 6.2% less than during June 2014.  Japan is the world’s second-largest steelmaking nation, but it’s year-to-date output is 4.71% less than at the same time last year.

Germany, the largest steelmaker in the European Union, produced 3.8 million metric tons of raw steel during June, increasing its output by 1.6% from May and 5.8% compared to June 2014. Despite the improvements, Germany’s year-to-date steel output is down 1.49% compared to the same period of last year.

IndustryWeek's affiliate AmericanMachinist.com has the complete report.

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