Global steel production remained firm in February

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Global steel production fell in February, although output remained well above the levels of a year earlier.

According to the World Steel Association, 126.6 million tonnes of crude steel was produced during the month, down from 137.8 million tonnes in January.

While a sharp decline, it largely reflects that there are three extra days in January compared to February.

From a year earlier, global production rose by 4.1%, down from 7.5% in January. That was partially impacted by the leap year in 2016 which added an extra day of production in February.

This chart from worldsteel shows the trend in production levels over the past 18 months.

China produced 61.2 million tonnes of crude steel during the month, up 4.6% on the levels of a year earlier. Production in other nations stood at 65.4 million tonnes, a increase of 3.6% from February 2016.

Of the major producers, Indian production lifted by 8.9% to 8.1 million tonnes over the year while Japanese output fell 0.1% to 8.3 million tonnes.

The US produced 6.4 million tonnes, down 1.0% on a year earlier.

Total capacity utilisation worldwide stood at 70.3%, the highest level since June last year.

The rebound in production levels over the past year has helped to lift demand for raw ingredients such as iron ore and coking coal, which, along with supply disruptions and shuttering of uneconomic supply, has contributed to a sharp increase in prices over the same period.

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