World Steel Association: global steel production falls 7% in June

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The World Steel Association reported global crude steel production in June fell 7% year over year.

Of the 64 countries reporting production to the World Steel Association, production reached 148.3 million metric tons.
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“Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update,” the World Steel Association noted in its report released today.
Meanwhile, through the first half of the year, global production totaled 873.1 million metric tons, down 6.0% from production during the first half of 2019.

Asian steel production falls … except for China’s

Asian production totaled 642.0 million metric tons of crude steel in the first half of 2020, marking a 3.0% year-over-year decline.
China’s production, however, continues to rise.
China’s June steel production reached 91.6 million tons, an increase of 4.5% compared to June 2019.
Indian production fell 26.3% to 6.9 million tons. Japan’s production fell 36.3% to 5.6 million tons. South Korea’s steel production fell 14.3% to 5.1 million tons.

Steelmakers slow down in Europe

First-half production in the E.U. fell 18.7% to 68.3 million tons.
German production fell 27.3% to 2.5 million metric tons, while Italian production fell 13.0% to 1.8 million metric tons.
France and Spain each produced 0.8 million metric tons, marking declines of 34.9% and 31.5%, respectively.
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U.S. steel production down year over year, but showing momentum

North American crude steel production in the first half fell 17.6% to 50.2 million metric tons.
As noted here over recent weeks, the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate has been rising.
For the week ending July 18, capacity utilization for U.S. steel mills checked in at 58.3%, up from 57.5% the previous week.
Even so, U.S. steel production in the year to date is still well below production during the same time frame in 2019.
For the year-to-date period in 2020, U.S. production was down 19.7% compared with the previous year and came at a capacity utilization rate of 66.3% (compared to 80.9% in 2019).
U.S. production fell 34.5% in June, down to 4.7 million metric tons.

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