Global crude steel production falls 1.0% in November

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Breaking a long stretch of growth, global steel production has been on the decline over the last few months.

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After falling 0.6% and 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in September and October, respectively, global production fell 1.0% in November, according to the World Steel Association.

Production in November totaled 147.8 million tons from the 64 countries reporting data to the World Steel Association.

After declining in October by 0.6%, China’s November steel production jumped 4%, with 80.3 million tons produced.

Elsewhere in Asia, India produced 8.9 million tons, marking a 2.8% year-over-year decline. Japan’s production totaled 7.7 million tons, down 10.6%. South Korea churned out 5.9 million tons, down 0.5% compared with November 2018.

The U.S. steel sector produced 7.2 million tons, marking a decline of 2.2% compared with November 2018. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the year through Dec. 14, 2019, came in at 80.1%.

U.S. steel prices have been on the rise of late after slumping throughout most of the year.

In Europe, Italy’s production totaled 2.0 million tons, down 9.8% year over year. France’s production totaled 1.1 million tons, marking a decline of 18.2%. Spain also produced 1.1 million tons, which saw its production decline 10.9%.

Brazil’s production totaled 2.6 million tons, marking a decline of 10.5%. In early December, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on imports of Brazilian steel and aluminum (Brazil had initially won exemptions from the U.S.’s Section 232 tariffs, first imposed in March 2018).

However, this past week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Trump had decided not to go ahead with imposing the tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum.

Elsewhere, Turkish steel production reached 2.9 million tons in November, down 8.1% year over year.

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Ukraine’s production reached 1.3 million tons, down 20.1% year over year.

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