World crude steel production reached 1.66 billion tonnes in 2014, up 1.2% when compared to the previous year.

The most robust growth was seen in the Middle East – the smallest region for crude steel production, according to the World Steel Association (worldsteel).

Modest growth was witnessed in the EU 28, North America and Asia and there was a decrease in production in the CIS and South America.

In Asia, annual crude steel production was 1.13 billion tonnes in 2014, up 1.4% when compared with 2013. In China crude steel production increased by 0.9% to 822.7Mt (0.8 billion tonnes) but its share of world crude steel production slipped from 49.7% in 2013 to 49.5% in 2014. Japan's output was up 0.1% from 2013 to 110.7Mt and South Korea's figures were up 7.5% to 71Mt.

Compared with 2013, the European Union saw a 1.7% increase in crude steel production in 2014 having produced 169.2Mt. Germany's figure improved by 0.7%. Germany produced 42.9Mt, up 0.7%; Italy produced 23.7Mt, down by 1.4% when compared to 2013, and France increased production by 2.9% to 16.1Mt. Spain witnessed a decline of 0.6% over 2013 figures and produced 14.2Mt of crude steel.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the USA increased production by 2% to 121.2Mt.

Russia's crude steel production was up by 2.6% to 70.7Mt when compared with 2013 figures. Ukraine's crude steel production was down 17.1% with a year-end figure of 27.2Mt. The CIS as a whole was down by 2.8%, producing 105.3Mt.

In South America, annual crude steel production was down 1.4% when compared with 2013 figures. In total the region produced 45.2Mt. Brazil produced 39.9Mt, down 0.7% on 2013.

In December 2014, world crude steel production for the 65 countries reporting to worldsteel was 133.7Mt, an increase of 0.1% compared to December 2013. The overall capacity utilisation ratio for the 65 countries in December 2014 was down from 78.4% in 2013 to 76.7%