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How Global Steel Production Is Looking in 2018

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Apr. 4 2018, Published 2:03 p.m. ET

Global steel production

In this article, we’ll look at February’s global steel production data released by the World Steel Association (or WSA). Global steel production rose 5.3% year-over-year (or YoY) to 1.69 billion metric tons last year. All steel-producing regions, barring the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), reported a yearly increase in their 2017 steel production (XME).

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China’s steel production

According to the WSA, in February, global steel production rose 3.5% YoY to 131.8 million metric tons. China’s February steel production rose 5.9% from the corresponding month in 2017. The country’s steel production is up 5.9% YoY in the first two months of the year. In comparison, global steel production is up 4.0% over the period.

In February, India produced 8.4 million metric tons of steel. The company has now surpassed Japan to become the second-largest steel-producing country. Many analysts expect Indian steel production to continue its uptrend in the coming decade. ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steel producer, is also looking at a potential acquisition in the country.

Steel production in the European Union fell 0.8% YoY in February, shrinking the yearly gains in the first two months to a mere 0.2%. U.S. Steel Corporation (X) operates in Central Europe. Nucor (NUE) and AK Steel (AKS) get most of their revenues from the US market.

Key takeaways

Chinese steel production is up sharply in the first two months of 2018 despite the winter capacity curtailments. However, as the production surge doesn’t seem backed by end-user demand, we’ve seen an increase in Chinese steel inventory.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at some indicators of US steel demand.

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