World crude steel production increased 2.6 percent in May 2013 compared to the same timeframe last year, the World Steel Association says, adding that this past May was one of its better months this year.

The Brussels-based organization, citing 63 responding nations, says raw steel production tallied 136 million tons worldwide in May, an approximately 3.2 percent increase from April.
Meanwhile, the crude steel capacity utilization ratio remained “nearly unchanged” in May, coming in at 79.6 percent compared to 80 percent in April. Compared to May of last year, however, May’s tally is 0.9 percent lower.

The monthly crude steel capacity utilization ratio is calculated using crude steel production and capacity information data available to the organization, according to a release from the association.

Likewise, the capacity information is based on publicly-available information, updated twice annually, and verified via the organization’s membership.

Several countries scattered across each continent saw varying results in crude steel production, some commendable, others not so much.

Take, for instance, China, which has the strongest surge. The country’s crude steel production for May increased 7.3 percent compared to the same month in 2012. Other Asian countries also upped their production, with Japan producing 9.6 million tones, an increase of 4.3 percent from the same month last year. South Korea, however, reported a 7.1 percent decrease in the same time span.

The European Union reported far more inconsistent results. Germany produced 3.7 million tons of crude steel in May, a decrease of 1.5 percent from May of last year. Italy did worse, down 11.1 percent. France was down 3.5 percent. Spain, on the other hand, produced 4.3 percent more. These percentages are in relation to numbers reported in May 2012.

Elsewhere, Russia produced 6.1 million tons, resulting in a minor increase of 0.2 percent from last year. Turkey’s crude steel production was 3 million tons, a 2 percent drop-off, again compared to May 2012.

Over in the Americas, the U.S. and Brazil reported near opposite numbers, with the U.S. producing 7.5 million of crude steel, down 4.9 percent, and Brazil producing 3 million tons, up 5.5 percent.

About the World Steel Organization
The World Steel Organization is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world, representing about 170 steel producers and 17 of the world’s 20 largest steel companies. It also represents about 85 percent of steel production worldwide, including national and regional steel industry associations and various steel research institutes.


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