Production of crude steel for the 67 countries reporting to the World Steel Association in June was estimated to be 141 million tonnes. This was 3% above the tonnage in June 2016, and the year to date was 4.5% above the total for the same period in 2016 at 836 million tonnes. Excluding China, however, the June total was only 0.7% higher than in June 2016 and the six months' total was 4.4% up on 2016. China accounted for just over 50% of world steel production in the first six months of 2017.
In the European Union crude steel production for the 28 also rose by 3.8% in June to 14.39 million tonnes, compared to June 2016. This brought the six months' year to date total up 4.1% at 86.1 million tonnes. German steel production actually fell by 1.7% in June, although the year to date total at 22.2 million tonnes was 1.7% higher than the previous year. Italian steel production increased by 1.8% in June, and was 1.7% up in the six months to 12.4 million tonnes. French production grew by 1.3% in June, while the year to date total increased by 9.6% to 7.9 million tonnes. Spanish steel production grew by 8.1% in June, bringing the year to date total up by 0.6% to 7.3 million tonnes making it the fourth largest steel producer in the EU behind France, Italy and Germany. In the United Kingdom steel production increased by 32.3% in June, and by 3.4% in the six months to 4 million tonnes, less than Belgium and Austria.
In France the growth in production has filtered through to an increase in exports. Exports in May grew by 13% year on year, driven by an increase in shipments of Semis to Germany, Spain and North Africa; a growth in exports of HRC to Belgium, Greece and Turkey; and an increase in exports of HDG to Germany and Belgium.
Turkish steel production rose by 7.1% to 3 million tonnes in June and by 11.4% to 18.2 million tonnes in the six months. Serbia's production in the six months jumped by 48% to 696 thousand tonnes compared to 2016. Bosnian steel production was down by 14.3% in the year to date to 360 thousand tonnes, while in Norway steel production fell by 0.6% to 319 thousand tonnes.
According to ACEA, the European car manufacturers association, car registrations rose by 2.1% in June, and the six months total increased by 4.7% to 8 million cars. German registrations were down by 3.5% in June, bringing the year to date total to 1.79 million cars, 3.1% above the 2016 total. UK car registrations actually fell by 4.8% in June, and by 1.3% in the year to date to 1.4 million cars. Registrations in Italy rose by 12.9% in June, and increased by 8.9% in the first six months to 1.14 million cars. In France registrations increased by 1.6% in June, bringing the year to date total to 1.14 million cars, an increase of 3%. The Spanish six months' total rose by 7.1% to 667 thousand cars.
Russian crude steel production was 8% down in June at 5.3 million tonnes, while the year to date total was 0.8% up at 35.3 million tonnes. Ukrainian monthly production dropped by 13%, bringing the six months total to 10.5 million tonnes, a decrease of 15.4%. In Kazakhstan the year to date total was up by 10.6% to nearly 2.3 million tonnes, while in Belarus it fell by 5.5% to 1.1 million tonnes.
On the North American continent US crude steel production declined by 1.7% in June and by 1.3% to 40.6 million tonnes in the year to date. Canadian steel production was 11.5% down in the month, and 1.7% lower in the six months to 6.5 million tonnes. Mexican steel production increased by 1% in June, and rose by 11.2% in the year to date to 10 million tonnes.
Crude steel production in the South American countries was varied with Brazilian production rising by 4% in June, and 12.4% in the year to date to 16.7 million tonnes. Argentinian steel production decreased by 0.1% in the month, bringing the six months total to 2.1 million tonnes, an increase of 2%. In Colombia the monthly total fell by 9.6%, while the year to date total was down by 1.8% to 629 thousand tonnes. Peruvian steel production was 8.2% up in the six months to 597 thousand tonnes. However, Chilean year to date steel production fell by 2.3% to 581 thousand tonnes.
In Africa, South African steel production was 15.9% lower in June and was 4.1% down in the year to date to 2.1 million tonnes. Egyptian production jumped by 40.9% in June and by 36.9% in the six months to 3.1 million tonnes. In the Middle East, Iran showed a 16.4% increase in steel production in June with the year to date total up by 13.7% to 9.9 million tonnes. Saudi Arabian steel production, however, fell by 5.3% in the year to date to 2.5 million tonnes. Production in the United Arab Emirates rose by 16.6% in the six months to 1.7 million tonnes.
Turning to the Far East, Chinese steel production increased by 5.7% in June to 73.2 million tonnes, bringing the year to date total up by 4.6% to 420 million tonnes, 50% of world production. Japan's June production, however, was down by 4.3%, while the year to date total was just 0.5% higher at 52.3 million tonnes. Crude steel production in India was down 1.1% in the month, making 49.5 million tonnes in the six months, an increase of 5.3% on the previous year. South Korea's production, however, increased by 7.7% in June, while the year to date total was up by 3.7% to 34.7 million tonnes. Taiwan's monthly production increased by 5.6%, bringing the year to date total to nearly 11.6 million tonnes, an increase of 7.7%. Vietnam's year to date total nearly doubled to 4.7 million tonnes.
The growth in Chinese production has been in order to satisfy internal demand and exports from the country have actually collapsed by 38% in June, year on year. This decline is across most markets but has been more acute in long products with shipments of wire rod down 49%, exports of HR light sections falling by 72% and exports of HR bars down 83%.
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