The world’s steel output declined by 6% in March compared with output in March 2019, the World Steel Association reported in its most recent monthly output report.
Global production in March totaled an estimated 141.1 million tons, according to the World Steel Association.
The decline comes after global growth in February reached 3.3%.
However, the association noted the current uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak meant many of the numbers could soon be subject to change.
“Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates from national and regional associations, which may be revised with next month’s production update,” the association said in a release.
Q1 2020 production down 1.4%
In the first quarter, global crude steel production reached 443.0 million tons, down 1.4% compared with the same period in 2019.
Asian production totaled 315.2 million tons of crude steel, down 0.3% from Q1 2019. The E.U.’s production fell 10.0% down to 38.3 million tons of crude steel in the first quarter of 2020.
North American production fell 4.0% to 29.5 million tons, a decrease of 4.0% compared to the first quarter of 2019.
China’s production down 1.7% in March
As for March totals, China’s production totaled 79.0 million tons, down 1.7% compared to March 2019.
U.S. production reached 7.2 million tons, down 6.0% compared with a year ago.
No. 2 steel producer India churned out an estimated 8.7 million tons of crude steel, marking a 13.9% decrease.
Japan’s production fell 9.7% to an estimated 8.2 million tons, while South Korea’s fell 7.9% to 5.8 million tons.
Germany’s production fell 20.9% to an estimated 2.9 million tons of crude steel production in March 2020, down 20.9% on March 2019. Italy, which has been among the hardest-hit countries vis-a-vis COVID-19, has seen its production plunge 40.2% to an estimated produced 1.4 million tons. France’s production dropped 13.2% to an estimated 1.2 million tons, while Spain’s fell 14.6% to 1.2 million tons.