NEW YORK Growth in global
crude steel production slowed dramatically in 2012 as output in
the North American and Asian markets slackened and output in
faltering European Union countries fell more rapidly in 2012
than in the previous year.
The 62 countries reporting to
the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) produced just 1.2
percent more steel in 2012 than in 2011, increasing global
output to 1.52 billion tonnes compared with 1.5 billion tonnes
in 2011. Global steel output had increased 6.8 percent in 2011
North American steel production
rose just 2.5 percent in 2012 compared with 6.6 percent growth
a year earlier, with U.S. production climbing 2.5 percent to
88.6 million tonnes last year.
Global steel output would have
declined in 2012 without Chinese growth of 3.1 percent to 716.5
million tonnes. India also increased production by 4.3 percent
year on year to 76.7 million tonnes last year. But Chinese and
Indian markets grew much faster in 2011, at a rate of 8.8
percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
The sharpest regional declines
were in the European Union, where output fell 4.7 percent to
169.4 million tonnes in 2012. The decline was due to sharp
drops in Spain and Italy, where production fell 12.1 percent
and 5.2 percent, respectively. Germany, considered one of the
most stable steel producers in the region, saw production fall
3.7 percent to 42.7 million tonnes amid growing economic
The Africa/Middle East region
registered growth of 2.2 percent to 34.5 million tonnes last
year, with a politically calmer Egypt seeing a 2.2-percent
uptick to 6.6 million tonnes and Iran growing 9.6 percent to
14.5 million tonnes.
For December, global steel
output totaled 121.3 million tonnes, up 2.4 percent from 118.4
million tonnes in the same month in 2011.