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World Steel Production Report

ISSB Monthly World Steel Production Review

WORLD STEEL REVIEW, November 2011

Crude steel production in September for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 123.6 million tonnes, an increase of 9.7% over September 2010. The total for the first nine months of 2011 was 1134 million tonnes, 8.2% higher than the previous year's January to September total. However, excluding China, the increase in the year to date production was only 6.1% with the September total up by just 4.5%. Global crude steel production for the full year is estimated to be 1500 million tonnes, compared to 1400 million in 2010.

In the European Union crude steel production for the 27 countries increased by 4.4% in September to 15 million tonnes bringing the year to date total up 4.3% to 136 million tonnes. Germany's September production rose by 10.3%, while the year to date total was up just 3.6% at 34 million tonnes. Italy's monthly production increased by 11.5%, bringing the nine months total up 11.3% to 21.3 million tonnes. French production rose by just 4.2% in September, and by 2.5% in the year to date to 11.9 million tonnes. In Spain the monthly total was only 0.8% up, while the year to date actually fell by 2.8% to 12.2 million tonnes. The UK monthly total fell by 2.5%, and the nine months total was down 2.3% at 7.3 million tonnes. The year to date total rose by 10.2% in Austria, 9% in the Czech Republic and 7.9% in Poland. However, in Slovakia it fell by 6.2%.

Imports of steel by the EU27 from outside the EU were 23.6 million tonnes in the first seven months of the year. This is a 48% increase on January to July 2010 and an 80% increase on the same period in 2009. Imports of semi finished steel rose to 6.6 million tonnes in 2011, 47% up on the first seven months of 2010. Imports of hot rolled wide coil were 53% higher than in the previous year at 4.9 million tonnes. However, EU27 exports outside the EU only increased by 5.5% in 2011 to 21.3 million tonnes.

The largest suppliers of steel to the European Union in 2011 were the Ukraine (4.6 million tonnes), Russia (4.4 million tonnes) and China (3 million tonnes). These 3 countries accounted for 50% of the steel imported in 2011 and it was a significant increase in the case of Ukraine (+47%) and China (+49%). Italy imported just over a quarter of the steel in 2011 which was 29% up on the same period in 2010, while Belgium accounted for 15%, an increase of 71%, and Germany accounted for 10.6% of imports, which was an increase of 60% on 2010. In the case of Italy the bulk of imports in 2011 were hot rolled coil and semis, while these two products accounted for just over half of Belgian imports in 2011.

European car registrations in the 28 countries monitored by ACEA rose by 1% in September 2011 compared to 2010, bringing the year to date total down by 0.8% to under 10.5 million cars. In Germany registrations increased by 8% in September, and by 10.8% in the nine months to 2.4 million cars. French registrations were down by 1.4% in the month, with the year to date total very slightly up at 1.66 million cars. In the UK the monthly total fell by 0.8%, bringing the nine months total down by 5% to 1.55 million cars. Italian registrations were also down by 5.7% in September, and the year to date total dropped by 11.3% to 1.37 million cars. Spanish registrations decreased by 1.3% in September, but were down by nearly 21% in the nine months to 624 thousand cars.

Crude steel production in the rest of Europe was dominated by Turkey where September production increased by 16.9%, bringing the year to date total up 19% to 25 million tonnes. Steel production in Serbia, however, fell by 44% in September, although the nine months total was up by nearly 10% to 1.1 million tonnes.

Russian crude steel production in September only rose by 0.8% with the nine months total up by 4.3% to 52 million tonnes. Ukrainian steel production, however, decreased by 0.7% in September, although the year to date total increased by 7.1% to 26.4 million tonnes. Kazakhstan's nine months total rose by 17% to 3.7 million tonnes.

Russian exports of steel in the first eight months of 2011 fell by 17% compared to 2010 to 16.2 million tonnes. Exports of semis were down by 22% to 8.4 million tonnes. Imports of steel rose by 50% to 4.9 million tonnes in the same period.

On the North American continent US September crude steel production was up 8.9%, bringing the year to date total to 64.7 million tonnes, an increase of 6.2%. Canadian production, however, fell by 3.3% in September and by 0.1% in the year to date to just under 10 million tonnes. In Mexico monthly steel production was 13.2% up, while the nine months total rose by 9.4% to 13.6 million tonnes, higher than both the Spanish and French totals.

In South America, Brazilian crude steel production increased by 3.8% in September and by 7.4% in the year to date to 26.7 million tonnes. Argentinean production rose by 4.9% in September, bringing the nine months total to 4.2 million tonnes, an increase of 9.4%. However, in Venezuela monthly crude steel production jumped by 18%, while the year to date total was 76% higher at 2.5 million tonnes.

In Africa and the Middle East, South African crude steel production fell by 10% in September, bringing the year to date total to 5 million tonnes, a decrease of 17.6%. Although Egyptian production was down by 7.2% in the month, the year to date total was 0.8% up at 4.9 million tonnes. Iranian monthly production, however, rose by 1.4% with the year to date total up by 11.8% to 9.8 million tonnes. In Saudi Arabia September production rose by 4.5%, while the nine months total reached 4 million tonnes, an increase of 4%.

The five major Asian countries - China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan - all showed an increase in steel production except for Japan. Chinese production jumped by 16.5% in September, although this was the lowest monthly total in 2011 apart from February. However, the year to date total increased by 10.7% to nearly 526 million tonnes, 46% of global steel production. Japanese production on the other hand decreased by 3.8% in the month, bringing the cumulative total to 81 million tonnes, a fall of 1.1%. In South Korea production jumped by 17.7% in September and by 18.7% in the nine months to 50.6 million tonnes. India's monthly steel production increased by 5.2% while the year to date total was up 5.3% to 54 million tonnes. Taiwanese production rose by 12.3% in September, and by 17% in the year to date to 17 million tonnes.

Phil Hunt
ISSB Ltd



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