NEW YORK Global crude steel output rose 1.3 percent in October compared with the same month in 2011, riding a large uptick in Chinese production even as European Union and U.S. steel production foundered.
The 62 countries reporting output to the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) produced 126.1 million tonnes of steel in October compared with 124.6 million tonnes in the same month last year.
China showed the greatest growth in steel production, with October output rising 6 percent year on year to 59.1 million tonnes. India followed close behind, increasing its production 5.7 percent year over year to 6.5 million tonnes. In contrast, steel output in Japan declined 6.7 percent year on year to 8.8 million tonnes in October.
North American steel production fell 1.4 percent in October, with U.S. production declined 3.3 percent to 6.9 million tonnes from 7.2 million tonnes in October 2011.
However, the sharpest regional declines were in the European Union, where output fell to 14.2 million tonnes in October, a 6.2-percent decline from the previous year. That decline was due to sharp declines in Spain and Italy, which fell 15.6 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively. Germany, the largest steel producer in the European Union, saw production inch up 0.3 percent to nearly 3.7 million tonnes.
Brazilian steel production rose to 3.2 million tonnes in October, a 7.7-percent increase from the same month last year. That helped carry growth in South America, which recorded a 4.7-percent production gain to nearly 4.2 million tonnes.
Global steel output for the first 10 months of the year totaled 1.28 billion tonnes, up 0.7 percent from 1.27 billion tonnes in the year-ago period.