CHICAGO Global crude steel output increased 1.2 percent in April as Asia, largely China, offset declines in other major producing regions, including North America and Europe.
Production by the 63 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) totaled more than 132.1 million tonnes last month, up from 130.5 million tonnes in April 2012.
Chinas crude steel production in April increased 6.8 percent from a year earlier to nearly 65.7 million tonnes, Japanese output rose 1 percent to almost 9.2 million tonnes and production in India was up 3.5 percent to 6.6 million tonnes.
In North America, crude steel production fell 5.7 percent in April, led by a 7.3-percent drop in U.S. output to almost 7.3 million tonnes. Mexican steel production fell 1.5 percent to 1.5 million tonnes and Canadian output slipped 0.5 percent to slightly less than 1.2 million tonnes.
The European Union continued to register some of the largest production declines globally, with April output falling 4.9 percent from a year earlier to under 14.1 million tonnes. The regions top two producersGermany and Italyregistered year-on-year declines of 0.9 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, to 3.6 million tonnes and 2.1 million tonnes.
Long-product producer Turkey logged a 0.7-percent drop to nearly 2.9 million tonnes.
Global steel capacity utilization for the 63 reporting countries rose to 80 percent in April from 79.1 percent the previous month but was 2 percentage points below April 2012, WorldSteel said.