Pavel Ignatov/Adobe Stock
Global crude steel production continues to rise, in April increasing 6.4% on a year-over-year basis, according to the World Steel Association.
According to the World Steel Association’s monthly global crude steel production report, the 64 countries reporting to the association produced a total of 156.7 million tons in April.
China’s production continued to rise, reaching 85.0 million tons for the month, up 12.7% year over year (after posting 10% year-over-year growth in March).
Elsewhere in Asia, India produced 8.8 million tons, up 1.5% year over year, while Japan produced 8.6 million tons, down 0.8% year over year. South Korea’s crude steel production jumped 1.4% year over year to 6.0 million tons.
The U.S. produced 7.4 million tons of crude steel in April 2019, up 7.3% from April 2018. On the imports side, the U.S. imported 3.3 million net tons of steel in April, which marked a 45.5% increased compared with March imports, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
For the first four months of the year, however, U.S. steel imports fell 8% compared with the same period in 2018.
U.S. production for the year through May 25 reached 39.4 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 81.8%, a 6.4% increase in production from the same period last year. The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the same period in 2018 reached 76.6%.
In Europe, Italy’s crude steel production fell 5.7% to 2.0 million tons, while France produced 1.3 million tons of crude steel in April 2019, marking an 8.1% year-over-year decrease. Spain produced 1.3 million tons of crude steel in April 2019, marking a 4.4% year-over-year decline.
Crude steel production in Ukraine hit 1.9 million tons in April 2019, up 12.6% year over year, while Brazilian production fell 1.9% year over year to 2.9 million tons.
Turkey’s crude steel production picked up 2.6% to 3.0 million tons. This past month, the U.S. announced it would reduce its steel and aluminum import tariffs vis-a-vis Turkey back to original levels of 25% and 10%, respectively.
Amid diplomatic tensions last year regarding Turkey’s detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, the U.S. doubled its Section 232 tariffs on imports of the metals from Turkey, raising them to 50% for steel and 20% for aluminum.