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World steel production drops in first quarter: trade group

[PARIS] Global steel production fell in the first three months of the year, with significant drops seen in China, the EU and the Americas, an industry group said Wednesday.

Worldwide crude steel output fell 3.6 per cent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier, the World Steel Association, or worldsteel, said in a statement, taking production to 385.7 million tonnes.

Production in China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of steel, fell 3.2 per cent in the period.

EU output dropped 7.0 per cent overall, with UK production plunging nearly 39 per cent.

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US steel output declined 1.3 per cent, but rises in other North American countries limited the region's decline to 1.1 per cent.

South American output plunged 14.1 per cent.

The 66 countries included in the survey represent around 99 per cent of world steel production, worldsteel said.

The organisation said last week that a recovery in steel demand is unlikely before next year, owing to a slowdown in the Chinese economy and weakness in manufacturing.

China on Monday rebutted accusations that its cheap steel exports were causing plant closures and job losses across the globe.