LONDON (Reuters) - Global crude steel production rose four percent in March as mills in top producer China ramped up output after winter restrictions were lifted and as U.S. producers took advantage of import tariffs to churn out more metal.The steel industry, worth about $900 billion a year, is seen as a gauge of the world’s economic health.
Global crude steel production rose to 148 million tonnes in March, figures from the World Steel Association (worldsteel) showed on Wednesday.
Crude steel output from China, which produces about half the world’s steel, rose to 74.0 million tonnes, up 4.5 percent from March 2017 after winter restrictions to combat smog were lifted mid-March.
“(The) rebound in steel demand post Chinese New Year was slower than expected, but... we are seeing (a) healthy course of demand and reducing steel inventories,” Greg Lilleyman, Chief Operating Officer at Fortescue Metals Group, said on an earnings call with reporters and analysts.
The worldsteel data showed India, which this year overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest steel producer, boosted output by 5.3 percent in March, while Japan boosted output by 2.2 percent.