Steel production declined -4.91% worldwide from January to February 2020, totaling 143.3 million metric tons in the latest summary by the World Steel Assn. The new results hold a +2.8% edge over the February 2019 tonnage, and brings the two-month total for the current year to 293.9 million metric tons, which is just +1.0% higher than the January-February 2019 tonnage.
The World Steel Assn. represents steelmakers in 64 countries. "Raw steel" is the product of basic-oxygen or electric arc furnaces, and cast into semi-finished forms like billets for bar and rod products; slabs for flat products; or blooms, for beam and pipe products. The report cover carbon steel only; stainless and specialty steel producers comprise a separate market.
China’s raw steel production for February 2020 was estimated at 74.8 million metric tons metric tons, down -6.45% from January but up +4.97% compared to February 2019. (World Steel noted that the Chinese tonnage totals are estimates based on a combined total for January and February supplied by the China Iron and Steel Assn.) The two-month total for Chinese output in 2020 is 154.7 million metric tons, a 3.1% year-to-date increase.
Indian steelmakers produced 9.6 million metric tons of raw steel during February 2020, up +2.8% from January and +1.5% over February 2019. Even so, the 2020 YTD total for Indian raw-steel output is down slightly, -0.8%.
In Japan, raw-steel production totaled 7.9 million metric tons for February 2020, down -3.99% from January but up +2.2% versus February 2019. The country's YTD total is up +1.7%.
In the EU, raw-steel output across the 28-nation region totaled 12.28 million metric tons, down -9.0% from February 2019, and down -9.1% YTD. Among the major steelmaking nations in the EU, only Italy posted positive results for February, up 9.12% from January but essentially even (+0.10%) with the February 2019 result.
The Russian steel industry, now the world's fifth-largest based on annual production, reported 5.6 million metric tons of output during February, -6.4% from January and -2.3% from February 2019. They year-to-date total is 11.6 million metric tons, down -3.2% from 2019.
Raw steel production in Ukraine was 1.7 million metric tons last month, down -7.3% from January and up +1.2% over February 2019.
Turkey’s raw-steel production for February 2020 was 2.9 million metric tons metric tons, down -5.4% from January and up +8.2% over February 2019.
Brazilian steelmakers produced 2.7 million metric tons of raw steel during February, down -0.9% from January and -1.3% on February 2019.The U.S. steel industry produced 7.17 million metric tons (7.9 million short tons) of raw steel during February, -6.38% less than during January but still +3.05% over the February 2019 total. For the current year to date, U.S. steelmakers have produced 14.8 million metric tons (16.3 million short tons) of raw steel, +2.4% more than during January-February 2019.