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Global Steel Production and Capacity Utilization, March 2014

Written by Peter Wright

Production in March was at an all-time high of 141.3 million tonnes and increase of 15.4 million tonnes from February. This jump has become normal for the month of March which for the last three years was the highest month of the year. The three month moving average (3MMA) of production was at an annual rate of 1.616 billion tonnes with a capacity utilization of 77.8, also a 3MMA, (Figure 1).

Capacity is now 2.076 billion tonnes. Table 1 shows regional production in March with regional share of the global total, also three months production through March and YTD production(which is the same thing this month.) In the three months through March y/y growth was 2.2 percent. All regions except the CIS and South America had positive y/y growth in the three months through March with the European Union continuing to lead the way. The growth of China’s steel output has slowed for each of the last five months on a 3MMA basis and in March was 1.9 percent, down from 12.4 percent in March last year. It is still too soon to tell if the growth of China’s production really is being reigned in but the signs are encouraging. North America and China produced 7.3 percent and 49.7 percent of the global total in March, respectively, which was the exact same as February. Source World Steel Association.

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