November 26, 2019 / 4:39 PM / 13 days ago

Global steel output falls 2.8% year-on-year in October

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past steel rolls at the Chongqing Iron and Steel plant in Changshou, Chongqing, China, on August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Global crude steel production fell 2.8% year-on-year in October, data showed on Tuesday, as weak economic growth dampened output of the metal key for construction and infrastructure.

Output for the first 10 months of the year, however, rose by 3.2% after gains earlier in the year in top producer China, figures from the World Steel Association showed.

“We think it will remain weak in the coming months given subdued economic growth in key consuming regions,” Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

Output fell 8.7% in the European Union in October where companies have announced production cuts this year of at least 15 million tonnes, according to trade body Eurofer.

“Weak regional demand has been a key factor weighing on the profitability of EU producers... a recovery is unlikely any time soon,” Bain said.

Steel output in China dipped by 0.6% in October, partly due to capacity cuts to improve air quality during anniversary celebrations, but the restrictions have been lifted and production may rise in coming months, she added.

The data is from 64 countries that report to the association, which accounted for 99% of total world production last year.

Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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