NEW YORK Global crude
steel production inched marginally higher last month, kept
afloat by gains in Asia.
The 62 countries reporting to
the World Steel Association, accounting for 98 percent of
global crude steel output, produced 124.8 million tonnes in
January, up 0.8 percent from nearly 123.8 million tonnes in the
same month last year, according to data released Feb. 20 by the
The increase was driven by Asia,
where production rose 4 percent to more than 82.3 million
tonnes from 79.2 million tonnes.
Chinese production rose 4.6
percent to more than 59.3 million tonnes in
Januaryaccounting for 72.1 percent of Asian output and
47.5 percent of global productionfrom 56.7 million tonnes
a year earlier, when it accounted for 71.7 percent of Asian
output and 45.8 percent of the global tally.
Japan, the second-largest global
steel producer, posted a 2.7-percent increase to nearly 8.9
million tonnes in January from 8.6 million tonnes a year
The only Asian country to
register a decline was South Korea, where output fell 0.4
percent to 5.75 million tonnes from 5.78 million tonnes in
January last year.
Aside from Asia, the only other
region to post an increase was Oceania, where output inched up
0.2 percent to 491,000 tonnes as a 5.8-percent gain in New
Zealand offset a 0.8-percent decline in Australia.
North American production
dropped 3 percent to 10.14 million tonnes last month from 10.45
million tonnes in January 2012. The decline was spurred by a
5.8-percent drop in U.S. production to 7.26 million tonnes from
7.71 million tonnes, more than offsetting a 5.7-percent
increase in Mexico to 1.55 million tonnes and a 1-percent gain
in Canada to 1.2 million tonnes.
South American crude steel output fell 3.2 percent to 3.6
million tonnes in January from 3.7 million tonnes a year
earlier; European Union production fell 5 percent to 13.5
million tonnes from 14.2 million tonnes despite a 5.4-percent
increase in production by regional leader Germany to 3.55
million tonnes; production by other European nations fell 9.6
percent to slightly more than 3 million tonnes; and
Commonwealth of Independent States output fell 6.2 percent to
8.9 million tonnes, led by a 5.7-percent drop in Russian
production to 5.71 million tonnes.