World crude steel production up 4.1% on year in February: worldsteel

World crude steel production in February grew 4.1% year on year to 150.2 million mt for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association, the group said March 23.

Asian and Oceanic countries registered a production increase of 7.5% to 109.7 million mt, worldsteel said in a statement.

Last month, China — the largest global steel producer — saw an increase in output of 11% on the year to 83 million mt, while India — the second largest producer — registered a contraction of 3.1% to 9.1 million mt, as a surge in coronavirus cases hit the economy.

Production also fell in the 27 EU member countries, with the bloc currently experiencing its third wave of coronavirus infections.

Crude steel production dropped by 7.1% to 11.9 million mt. with Germany — the largest European steel producer — registering a decrease of 10% to 3.1 million mt, putting an end to the series of continuous production increases since mid-2020.

As the European steel market grapples with low supply, long lead times and tightening imports, the price of the main steel product, hot-rolled-coil, reached its highest levels since the peak of the financial crisis in June 2008.

In European countries outside the EU, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and the UK, production increased 5.2% to 3.9 million mt. Turkey once again triggered the increase, with a hike of 5.9% year on year to 3.0 million mt.

North American production dropped 8.9% to 8.8 million mt. As in the EU, US hot-rolled-coil also reached its highest point since 2008.

African production moved down 6.4% to 1.2 million mt.

Worldsteel includes output from Egypt, Libya and South Africa in its production tally, but not major producer Algeria.

South American production went up by 2.2% to 3.5 million mt, led by Brazil, the ninth-largest steel producer in the world, which saw production increase by 3.8% to 2.8 million mt.

CIS production went down by 1.5% to 8.0 million mt of crude steel with the fifth largest steel producing country, Russia, registering a preliminary decrease of 1.3% to 5.7 million mt.

— Annalisa Villa