India surpasses Japan in steel production
Global crude steel output, a gauge of economic health, rose 4.6 per cent in the first half of this year versus the same period last year, as strong margins prompted mills in major producing countries to ramp up, industry data showed on Thursday, while with a 5.1 per cent increase in total output India overtake Japan to become the second largest steel producer.
Crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 881.5 million tonnes in the first half. In June, it rose 5.8 per cent versus June last year to 151.4 million tonnes, worldsteel said.
Production in China, which makes and consumes half the world’s steel, rose 6 per cent to 451.2 million tonnes in the first half, and gained 7.5 per cent in June versus June last year to reach 80.2 million tonnes.
“We expect global production to continue to rise in the next few months as Chinese mills take advantage of higher margins and boost output ahead of winter (production) restrictions,” Capital Economics said in a note. “At the same time, the tariff on US steel imports, coupled with high prices, will continue to incentivise US output. (This) underpins our bearish view on prices this year.”
The research house sees US hot rolled coil at $800 per tonne at the end of the year, down from $915 on Thursday.
US president Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 per cent on incoming steel in March this year, and extended them to cover major suppliers Europe, Canada and Mexico on June 1 after their exemptions ran out.