And the country breakdown shows some impressive increases. For instance, China's crude steel production for May 2010 increased 20.7 percent from May 2009 numbers. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan produced 9.7 million metric tons of crude steel, and South Korea produced 5.2 million metric tons--up 50.2 percent and 28 percent, respectively.
For the European Union, "Germany's crude steel production for May 2010 was 4.1 million metric tons, an increase of 87.7 percent on May 2009. Italy produced 2.5 million metric tons, 42 percent higher than the same month in 2009. Spain produced 1.6 million metric tons of crude steel in May 2010, an increase of 24.9 percent compared to May 2009."
In May, U.S. production totaled 7.2 million metric tons of crude steel, an increase of 73.8 percent over May 2009.
Production above pre-recession levels
Compared with May 2007, the report noted that world crude steel production in May 2010 was "9.9 percent higher in comparison with May 2007 before the impact of the global economic crisis was felt. However, while China, South Korea and Turkey showed increased crude steel production in May 2010, compared to the same month in 2007, the United States, Italy, Spain and Japan are not yet back to pre-crisis production levels. The European Union is down 18 percent, North America is down 14.8 percent and Latin America is 9.8 percent down on the five months to May total in 2007.
"The world steel crude steel capacity utilization rate of the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association in May 2010 slightly declined to 82 percent from 83.4 percent in April 2010. Compared to May 2009, the utilization ratio in May 2010 increased by 15 percentage points." MM