Worldsteel Association (WSA) reports that global crude steel production totaled 151.4 million tonnes (Mt) at a capacity utilization rate, (CUR) of 78.5% in June. On a year on year, (y/y) comparison, global crude steel production in June decreased by 3.02 Mt as the capacity utilization rate rose 1.0 percentage points, the highest capacity utilization reported since June 2014. On a three month moving average, (3MMA) basis the rate of annualized production rate through June was 1,816.5 Mt.

globalsteel-fig1Figure 1 charts global steel production on the right-hand Y axis and percent CUR on the left-hand Y axis. Both capacity utilization and crude steel production are trending sharply higher year to date, (YTD) 2018.

Figure 2globalsteel-fig2 shows a pie chart of raw steel production by region YTD, through June 2018. China with 448,817Mt YTD, +7.1% y/y accounts almost half, (47.8%) of global raw steel production. The next biggest slice was “other Asia” with 162,753 Mt or 3.4% of the global total. Countries in “other Asia” include: India, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Adding China + other Asia, accounts for almost two thirds, (65.1%) of global steel output.

Europe was the next largest producing region YTD with 126,788 Mt, accounting for 13.5% of the global total. The CIS countries (Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) combined tonnage was 50,539 Mt YTD for 5.4% of the total. South America accounted for 21,742 Mt, 2.3% of the global total. Africa accounted for 17,962 Mt, 1.9% of the global total.

North America (which includes Canada, US and Mexico as well as Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago), produced a combined 100,857 Mt, accounting for 10.7% of global output..

At Gerdau we keep a keen eye on Global crude steel production and capacity utilization because of its huge impact on global trade and its influence on domestic pricing.