For the first time in the current year, world steel production saw a positive growth in July. Led largely by a 2.6% growth in Chinese output, global steel production grew by 1.4% in July to 133.7 MT compared to 131.9 MT in the same month last year, data compiled by World Steel Association (WSA) showed.
Continuing with the downward trend of 2015, which saw a 2.8% decline in global output at 1,623 MT; steel production has been in the negative terrain each month since the beginning of the year. The decline was the stiffest in January, 2016 at 7.1% followed by 3.3% in February, 0.5% each in March and April and a 0.1% in May over the corresponding months last year. With neither growth and nor decline, global steel production was flat in June at 134.9 MT.
China, as usual, was the largest producer of steel in July producing exactly half of the world’s output for the month. Next in the line was Japan which produced 8.8 MT, recording a marginal growth of 0.5% over the same month last year. India remained the third largest producer during the month notching 8 MT production.
Among the major producing nations, output went up in Russia by 0.9% at 6.1 MT and in Korea by 1.5% at 6 MT. But, the US produced 2.2% less in July this year at 6.87 MT compared to the same month last year.
Meanwhile, global steel production has still been down even after seven months of the current year by 1.2% to stand at 930 MT. However, the gap has been gradually narrowing. Decline in steel production compared to the corresponding period of the last year was the highest in January at 7.1%. Cumulatively, it narrowed to 5.2% during the January-February period and further down to 3.6% during the January-March period.
Upto April and May of the current year, productions were down by 2.8% and 2.2% respectively over the same period last fiscal. The gap narrowed down to 1.9% during the January-June period.
In its short-range outlook for the year 2016 and 2017, WSA had in April forecasted that global steel demand would decrease by 0.8% to 1,488 MT in 2016 following a contraction of 3% in 2015. In 2017, world steel demand will return to growth of 0.4% to reach at 1,494 MT.