China continued to produce more steel than the entire rest of the world last month

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

For the fourth month in a row, China produced more steel than all other nations combined in June.

According to data released by the WorldSteel Association on Wednesday, a group that accounts for approximately 85% of the world’s steel production, China produced 69.5 million of crude steel in June, dwarfing production in all other nations which came in at 66.5 million tonnes.

At 136 million tonnes, total global output in June was unchanged from the levels of a year earlier.

While down 1.4% on the 70.5 million tonnes produced in May, Chinese crude steel production is now 1.7% higher than the levels of June 2015, fitting with the splurge in state-backed infrastructure investment seen in recent months.

Despite the recent uplift in steel production, shown in the chart below supplied by WorldSteel, global steel production came in at 794.8 million tonnes in the first half of the year, down 1.9% on the same corresponding period in 2015.

“The CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] showed an increase of 0.6% whereas both North America and the Middle East reported negative growth of -0.6% and -3.2% respectively in the first half of 2016,” said WorldSteel. “Crude steel production in Asia declined by -1.0% and it decreased by -6.1% in the EU 28. South American production reduced considerably by -13.8% in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015.”

Underlining the scale of overcapacity in the sector — particularly in China — the unchanged year-on-year production figure for June came despite global capacity utilisation falling to just 69.4%. It has now fallen 3.3 percentage points from the levels of June 2015.

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