World steel production down amid French slump

20th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Global crude steel production slid 3.1 percent in October compared with the same month last year, mirroring a fall in Chinese output, while French production plummeted by a fifth, the World Steel Association said Friday.

Chinese output came in at 66.1 million tonnes, down from 68.2 million tonnes in October 2014 -- a significant drop given the Asian giant accounts for half of global production, the latest WTA statistics showed.

Production in Europe was down 3.8 percent overall -- but that figure masked wide variations for a key indicator of economic demand.

Germany, the largest steelmaker in the European Union, registered a 2.7 percent rise in output to 3.6 million tonnes.

But France saw a drop of 20.9 percent to 1.17 million tonnes. The French fall was 6 percent for January to October, whereas German output was barely changed over that period.

The United States registered an 8.8 percent fall in October to 6.7 million tonnes and Russian output fell 2.4 percent to 5.7 million tonnes.

The slide comes weeks after the US Commerce Department launched a probe into alleged dumping by several foreign steel producers -- including China but also South Korea and Japan -- accused of undercutting America's domestic industry.

Last month, meanwhile, India's Tata Steel said it was cutting around 1,200 jobs at two plants in Britain, in part owing to cheap Chinese imports as prices plunge on world markets.

© 2015 AFP

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