The world just produced more steel than ever before

Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty
  • Global steel production hit the highest level on record in March.
  • Total crude steel production stood at 148.3 million tonnes, up 4.4% from 12 months earlier.
  • Output levels increased in most major nations over the year, including in China and India, the world’s largest producers.

Global steel production just hit the highest level on record.

According to the World Steel Association (worldsteel), total crude steel production stood at 148.3 million tonnes in March, surpassing the previous record peak of 144.5 million tonnes set in January.

Compared to a year earlier, that represented an increase of 4.4%.

Source: worldsteel

worldsteel said output rose in most major nations over the year, including in China and India, the world’s largest producers.

Chinese production rose stood at 74 million tonnes in March, an increase of 4.5% from 12 months earlier. India, at 9.2 million tonnes, also recorded an increase of 5.3% over the same period.

Japanese, South Korean and US production also increased over the year, lifting by 2.2%, 4.7% and 5.3% respectively to 9.1 million tonnes, 6.1 million tonnes and 7.3 million tonnes.

The table below from worldsteel shows the change in production levels by individual nation compared to those reported in March 2017.

Source: worldsteel

Over the March quarter, worldsteel said total crude steel production rose to 426.6 million tonnes, up by 4.1% compared to the same period in 2017.

“Asia produced 294.1 million tonnes (Mt) of crude steel, an increase of 4.6% over the first quarter of 2017,” it said.

“The European Union produced 43.1 Mt of crude steel in the first quarter, up by 0.9% year on-year, while North America‚Äôs crude steel production in the March quarter was 29.5 Mt, an increase of 1.9% compared to the levels seen in 2017.”

Reflecting stronger production levels globally and shuttering of obsolete or inefficient steel mills in China, total global capacity utilisation rose to 74.5%, up from 69.2% at the end of 2017.

worldsteel members represent approximately 85% of total global steel production.

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