As the impact of the coronavirus outbreak began to be felt in latter half of January and into February, the total scope of the health crisis and its ramifications for economies around the world remains to be seen.
However, according to the World Steel Association, despite seeing the early stages of the outbreak, global crude steel production in January ticked up 2.1% compared with production in January 2019.
Global steel production in January reached 154.4 million tons, up from 151.5 million tons in December and 151.2 million tons in January 2019.
U.S. production rises
U.S. crude steel production reached 7.7 million tons in January 2020, up 2.5% compared to January 2019.
Through Feb. 22, U.S. production reached 14.48 million tons, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, at a capacity utilization rate of 82.0%. The year-to-date production total marked a 1.1% year-over-year increase.
U.S. steel prices have flattened out of late after a stretch of upward mobility beginning in November.
U.S. CRC fell to $763/st as of the end of last week, which marked a 3.05% decline from a month ago, according to MetalMiner IndX data. U.S. HDG fell to $841/st, down 1.64% month over month, while U.S. HRC was down 0.51% to $585/st.
China’s January output up 7.2%
No. 1 producer China churned out 84.3 million tons in January, up 7.2% from the January 2019 production total, compared with an 11.6% year-over-year growth rate in December.
Indian production totaled 9.3 million tons in January 2020, down 3.2% from January 2019. Japan produced 8.2 million tons, down 1.3% from January 2019.
South Korean production totaled 5.8 million tons in January 2020, down 8.0% from January 2019.
In Europe, Italy produced 1.9 million tons in January 2020, marking a 4.9% year-over-year decline. French production reached 1.3 million tons, up 4.5% compared to January 2019.
Elsewhere, Brazil’s crude steel production fell 11.1% to 2.7 million tons. Turkish production jumped 17.3% to 3.0 million tons, while Ukraine’s production fell 0.4% to 1.8 million tons.