Global production of raw steel totaled 136.5 million metric tons during January 2017, a 1.75% rise from the previous month’s total and a 7.0% increase over the January 2016 total. The figures are based on some noteworthy estimates, according to the World Steel Association, including estimated output of 67.2 million metric tons from China, which represents an increase of 2.7% over the January 2016 result.
The World Steel Assn. tracks monthly raw-steel output and capacity utilization rates for 67 countries — now, including Vietnamese production for the first time. 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. World Steel 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.
Last fall World Steel issued a short-range outlook for steel demand, and forecast that 2017 global steel demand will grow by 0.5% and reach 1.51 billion metric tons. The January results suggest a more stable situation for the global steel industry, which has strained under weak demand and excess capacity for nearly three years.