Total crude steel production for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association in January 2015 was estimated to be 133 million tonnes, which was a decrease of 2.9% on January 2014. If China is excluded, the remaining 64 countries showed a 1.1% decrease in crude steel production.
In the European Union crude steel production for the 28 countries (including Croatia) fell in January by 1.1% compared to January 2014 to 14.4 million tonnes. In Germany steel production rose by just 0.5% to nearly 3.7 million tonnes, while Italian production dropped by 11.3% to 1.9 million tonnes. French steel production fell by 10.6% to 1.3 million tonnes, while Spanish steel production actually increased by 11.8% to 1.25 million tonnes. In the UK, on the other hand, production decreased by 1% to almost 1.1 million tonnes.
UK exports of steel rose by 2.4% to 8.6 million tonnes compared to 2013; however, they were 34% above the 2012 total. The largest product group exported was semis at almost 3.5 million tonnes, 3.2% up on 2013 and 70% higher than in 2012. The UK's largest market was the USA at 1.4 million tonnes, more than 3x the total in 2013; next was Turkey at one million tonnes, only slightly up on the previous year, followed by France at 952 thousand tonnes. Thailand was the largest destination for semis followed by Turkey and the USA.
Outside of the European Union, steel production in Turkey decreased by 10.4% to 2.6 million tonnes, while Bosnian production rose by 6.8% to 80 thousand tonnes. Serbian steel production jumped by 26% to 69 thousand tonnes, while Norwegian steel production was just 1.4% up at 50 thousand tonnes.
Registrations of new cars in Europe showed an increase of 6.2% in January 2015 to a total of just over one million cars. German registrations rose by 2.6% to 211 thousand units, while French registrations increased by 6.2% to 133 thousand units. In the United Kingdom registrations were up by 6.7% to nearly 165 thousand units, while in Italy they rose by 10.9% to 131 thousand units. Spanish registrations jumped by 27.5% to 68 thousand units.
In Russia crude steel production was up by 6% compared to January 2014 at 6.1 million tonnes, while Ukrainian production fell by 25% to 1.9 million tonnes. Steel production in Kazakhstan fell by almost 20% to 230 thousand tonnes while in Belarus production jumped by 30% to 219 thousand tonnes.
In North America January crude steel production decreased by 1.3%, although US production was up by 0.4% to 7.35 million tonnes. Canadian steel production fell by 5.5% to 1.0 million tonnes, while Mexican production was down by 6% at 1.55 million tonnes.
South American crude steel production increased by 6.8% in January, with Brazilian production up by 7.7% to 3 million tonnes. Argentinian steel production, on the other hand, fell by 2.8% to 386 thousand tonnes, while Venezuelan production decreased by 5.9% to 150 thousand tonnes. However, Peru steel production increased by 23% to 115 thousand tonnes and Colombian steel production increased by 14.9% to 100 thousand tonnes.
In Africa and the Middle East steel production rose by 0.7%, while Iran saw production jump by 19.7% to 1.37 million tonnes in January. South African production, however, fell by 9.6% to 550 thousand tonnes, while Egyptian steel production rose by 11.6% to 605 thousand tonnes compared to January 2014. Saudi Arabian production, on the other hand, rose by 1.3% to 550 thousand tonnes and in the United Arab Emirates production was up 43% to 224 thousand tonnes.. Asian crude steel production for the five major countries in January was down by 3.9%. China's steel production actually declined by 4.7% to 65.5 million tonnes, while Japanese production fell by 4% to 9 million tonnes. Indian steel production was 0.3% up at 7.1 million tonnes, while South Korean production fell by 5% to 5.8 million tonnes. Taiwanese steel production increased by 14% to just over 2 million tonnes.
While Indian exports of steel in the first 11 months of 2014 rose by 4.6% to 9.4 million tonnes compared to 2013, imports jumped by 22% to 8.4 million tonnes. India's exports of semis in 2014 jumped by 64% to nearly 1.5 million tonnes while exports of hot rolled wide coil fell by 30% to 1.8 million tonnes. The largest market for semis was Nepal followed by Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. The largest markets for hot rolled coil in 2014 were the UAE and Vietnam. India's largest single market for steel was the USA which took nearly 1.2 million tonnes in the 11 months, an increase of 46% on the previous year. The second largest market was the UAE at 861 thousand tonnes.
India's steel imports reached almost 8.4 million tonnes in the 11 months with imports of hot rolled wide coil up 19.4% to nearly 1.8 million tonnes and imports of CR up 22.8% to 1.5 million tonnes. India's largest supplier of steel was China at 2.9 million tonnes, almost double the previous year's total with South Korea the second largest supplier at 1.9 million tonnes, 25% up on the 2013 total. In fact Asian countries supplied 79% of India's imports in 2014.
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