Global crude steel production in the first quarter of 2018 rose by 4.1 percent on a yearly basis, reaching 426.6 million tons, the World Steel Association reported on Wednesday.
"Asia produced 294.1 million tons of crude steel, an increase of 4.6 percent over the first quarter of 2017," the association said.
It noted that China was the world's number one crude steel producer with more than 210 million tons over the same period, followed by the EU, India, Japan and the U.S.
"The EU produced 43.1 million tons of crude steel in the first quarter of 2018, up by 0.9 percent compared to the same quarter of 2017," it said.
The sectoral report showed that Germany, Italy and Spain were the top three economies in the EU for crude steel production, while Turkey’s crude steel production amounted to some 9.5 million tons in the period of January-March this year.
"North America’s crude steel production in the first three months of 2018 was 29.5 million tons, an increase of 1.9 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017," the association said.
It stated that the crude steel production of the U.S. was 20.7 million tons with a 2.2 percent yearly hike.
It also noted that the crude steel capacity utilization ratio of the 64 countries in March was 74.5 percent — an annual increase of 2.2 percentage point — while the ratios for January and February were 72.6 and 73.6 percent, respectively.
The World Steel Association is a prominent industry organization, as its members represent around 85 percent of the global steel production with more than 160 steel producers, and releases monthly crude steel production figures for the 64 countries reporting to the association.