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February 2004

World Steel Production Near One Billion Tons in 2003; China has Highest Increase

Brussels, Belgium— Latest figures released by the International Iron and Steel Institute show that total world crude steel production for 2003 was 962.5 million metric tons (mmt). Production in China reached 220.1 mmt in 2003, the first time a country has produced more than 200 mmt of crude steel in a year. Chinese production has increased by 21.2% compared to 2002.

Ian Christmas, Secretary General of the International Iron and Steel Institute said, “At the beginning of 2003 some people expected both production and consumption of steel in China would taper off. As the end of year figures show, this has not happened. Instead, China has produced over 200 mmt of crude steel in a year, the first time this has ever been achieved. China now accounts for almost 23% of all crude steel produced in the world. With the present momentum in the world steel industry, 2004 production could reach 1,000 mmt for the first time.”

Total world production in 2003 shows a 6.6% increase over 2002. However, not including China, production rose just 3%.

In 2003, the top ten crude steel producers were:

Asian production of crude steel rose by 11.1% overall, the highest of any region. Production in the Middle East rose 7.6% compared to 2002. All regions showed an increase in production; however, production in both North American and Oceania grew by less than one percent over the previous year.

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