NEW YORK Global crude steel output rose 5.1 percent year on year in November on the back of dramatic growth in China, even as steel production in the United States and the European Union faltered.
The 62 countries reporting output to the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) produced nearly 121.7 million tonnes of steel in November, up from 115.8 million tonnes in the same month last year.
Chinas 13.7-percent output spike was behind the uptick in global production, which would have declined in November without strong Chinese growth of 6.9 million tonnes to almost 57.5 million tonnes during the month, WorldSteel data show.
India also increased production by 6.6 percent year on year to an estimated 6.4 million tonnes last month. In contrast, steel output in the other major steelmaking nations in AsiaJapan and South Koreadeclined 2.3 and 2.7 percent, respectively.
North American steel production fell 1 percent in November, with U.S. output declining 4.8 percent to nearly 6.7 million tonnes from 7 million tonnes in November 2011. Part of that decline can likely be attributed to the shutdown of the former RG Steel LLC steelmaking assets.
However, the sharpest regional declines were in the European Union, where output fell 5.3 percent to 13.5 million tonnes in November from 14.3 million in the same month the previous year. That decline was due to sharp declines in Spain and Italy, which saw production fall 14.2 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively. Germany, the largest steel producer in the European Union, saw production inch down 0.2 percent to 3.4 million tonnes amid growing economic concerns.
The Africa/Middle East region recorded a gain of 6.1 percent to more than 2.8 million tonnes in November compared with the same month last year, with a politically calmer Egypt seeing a 15.3-percent uptick in steel production to 548,000 tonnes during the month while that in Iran grew 12 percent to 1.2 million tonnes.
Global steel output for the first 11 months of the year totaled nearly 1.4 billion tonnes, up 0.9 percent from 1.38 billion tonnes in the same year-ago period.