Steel prices hit as global output surges
London, June 21, 2014
Global crude steel production rose at an annual 2.2 per cent rate in May as output in China hit new record levels and North American and European mills cranked up production, industry data showed, pressuring prices the world over.
Global crude steel output hit 141 million tonnes in May, nearing the record seen in March. The increase was driven by an annual 2.6 per cent growth in China's output to 70.4 million tonnes, data from the World Steel Association showed.
Global steel prices are at their lowest levels since August, and not far off the 3-1/2 year lows reached in June last year. The price falls have come despite an increase in demand in Western economies.
"Growth in steel output is exceeding growth in demand and is adding to the global surplus," said MEPS analyst Jeremy Platts.
According to China's General Administration of Customs, Chinese exports of steel, including stainless, hit 8.07 million tonnes in May, the highest ever level and an annual increase of 41.5 per cent in the year to date.
Output in Europe, the second-largest steel-producing region after China, grew by 2.7 per cent to 15.04 million tonnes, while output in North America grew 3.3 per cent to 10.22 million tonnes, the World Steel Association data showed.
The fast industrialising Middle East showed the highest growth rate in May, rising 7.3 per cent to 2.4 million tonnes, the data showed.-Reuters