World Steel Assoc reports latest global steel production figures

World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 117 million metric tons (mmt) in February 2011. This is 8.8% higher than February 2010.

China’s crude steel production for February 2011 was 54.3 mmt, up 9.7% compared to February 2010. Japan produced 8.9 mmt of crude steel in February 2011, an increase of 5.7% compared to the same month last year although March production levels are expected to fall. According to the World Steel Association Japanese steel production has mostly recovered to pre-disaster levels after the 11 March earthquake that triggered tsunami waves and an energy crisis. Less than 10 days after the earthquake, it said that Japan's largest steel-producer Nippon Steel said that its three blast furnaces in eastern Japan had resumed production. The World Steel Association also reports that Sumitomo Metals also restarted one of its two Kashima blast furnaces last Sunday. Engineers from Nippon Steel are reported to be helping with repair works at the Sumitomo plant which is on the tsunami-affected east coast of Japan.

In a statement, JFE said that its blast furnaces in Chiba and Keihin "have been blown-in again following precautionary maintenance and inspection. Maximum efforts are being made to conserve energy due to the tight supply of electricity. Facilities of the West Japan Works and Chita Works have experienced no damage due to the earthquake and are operating normally".

Japan’s February crude steel production rose by 5.7% compared to February 2010 but March production expected is expected to fall.

South Korea produced 5.0 mmt of crude steel in February 2011, 25.7% more than February 2010.

In the EU, Germany’s crude steel production for February 2011 was 3.7 mmt, an increase of 7.9% compared to February 2010. Italy’s crude steel production was 2.3 mmt, up 4.9% compared to the same month last year. Spain produced 1.4 mmt of crude steel in February 2011, an increase of 6.4% on February 2010.

Turkey’s crude steel production for February 2011 was 2.5 mmt, an increase of 35.5% compared to February 2010.

The US produced 6.6 mmt of crude steel in February 2011, 5.6% higher than February 2010.

Brazilian crude steel production in February 2011 was 2.7 mmt, an increase of 11.4% on February 2010.

The world crude steel capacity utilisation ratio of the 64 countries in February 2011 was 82.0%, a slight increase from the updated figure of 80.9% for January 2011. Compared to February 2010, the utilisation ratio in February 2011 is 2.7 percentage points higher.