NEW YORK Global crude steel output rose 1 percent in March from the same month last year, with production in China and India overcoming stagnation in almost every other major steel-producing country.
The 63 countries that report output to the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) produced nearly 134.9 million tonnes of steel last month, up from 133.5 million tonnes a year earlier.
Chinas 6.6-percent jump in output was responsible for the uptick in global production, which would have declined had that country not boosted its output to almost 66.3 million tonnes in March, WorldSteel data show.
Indian steel production increased 6.5 percent to an estimated 6.9 million tonnes last month, while Japanese output rose 1.3 percent to 9.4 million tonnes.
In contrast, North American steel production fell 6.3 percent in March, with U.S. output declining 8.4 percent to nearly 7.3 million tonnes from 8 million tonnes in March 2012. Mexican steel production rose 1.3 percent to an estimated 1.6 million tonnes.
Some of the sharpest declines were in the European Union, where output fell 6.6 percent year over year. French, German and Italian production fell 9.6 percent, 2.2 percent, and 18.4 percent, respectively.
Global steel output totaled 388.8 million tonnes in the first quarter, up 2.3 percent from 380.1 million tonnes in the first three months of 2013, WorldSteel said.