2017 crude steel production reached 1.69 billion tonnes, according to the World Steel Association (worldsteel). The figure is up 5.3% compared with 2016.

Crude steel production increased in all regions except for the CIS, says worldsteel, which has remained stable.

In Asia, annual production reached 1.16 billion tonnes, up 5.4% on 2016 figures, with China producing 831.7Mt, up 5.7%. China’s share of world crude steel production increased from 49% in 2016 to 49.2% last year.

In Japan, 104.7Mt was produced last year, a minor increase of just 0.1% on 2016 figures. In India the figure was 101.4Mt, up 6.2%. In South Korea crude steel production was up 3.7% at 71.1Mt.

The European Union (EU) produced 168.7Mt of crude steel, up 4.1%. Italy’s production was up 2.9% at 24Mt and Spain’s increased 6.2% to 14.5Mt.

North American crude steel production was up 4.8% to 116Mt. The USA produced 81.6Mt, up 4%.

Based on available data, worldsteel estimates that the CIS produced 102.1Mt of crude steel last year, which was roughly the same as in 2016. Russia produced 71.3Mt, up 1.3% and the Ukraine was down 6.4% with a year-end figure of 22.7Mt.

In South America the figure was up 8.7% at 43.7Mt. Brazil was the star player with 34.4Mt, up 9.9%.

The figure for December 2017 for all 66 countries reporting to worldsteel was 138.1Mt, up 3.9%. The capacity utilisation rate for the month was 69.5%, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than December 2016.