World Steel Association: Global steel output drops 2.5% in July

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Steel production
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Despite China’s ramping up of its steel output, global steel output declined in July 2020.

According to the most recent reporting from the World Steel Association, global crude steel production fell 2.5% in July on a year over year basis.

Production for the month totaled 152.7 million metric tons, according to the World Steel Association.

“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 association noted.

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China’s production continues to soar

While steel demand might be lagging in the rest of the world, China’s steel demand is strong (as Maria Rosa Gobitz recently noted in her Raw Steels MMI report).

China’s production totaled produced 93.4 million metric tons of crude steel in July 2020, or up 9.1% compared to July 2019.

Other top steel producers in Asia, however, were not as productive. Japan produced 6.0 million tons, down 27.9% year over year. Meanwhile, South Korea’s production fell 8.3% to 5.5 million tons.

Elsewhere, German production dropped 24.7% to 2.4 million tons. Total estimated E.U. production reached 9.8 million tons, or down 24.4%.

Production in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) reached an estimated 8.1 million, or down 5.8% from July 2019.

Ukraine production fell 1.9% to 1.8 million tons. Turkey’s production, meanwhile, rose 7.4% to 3.1 million tons.

U.S. steel sector ramps up

U.S. production fell 29.4% year over to 5.2 million tons in July, according to the World Steel Association’s reporting.

However, as we’ve noted here on a weekly basis, the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate has posted incremental increases in recent months.

U.S. steel mills produced at a capacity utilization rate of 63.0% during the week ending Aug. 22, up from 61.5%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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