India steel production
World Steel Association’s report: India crude steel production risesReuters File

India has overtaken Japan to become the second-largest steelmaker in the world. China remains the world leader, while India held the number three slot for three years till 2017.

According to World Steel Association's crude steel production report, China's production for February was 64.9 million tonnes (Mt), an increase of 5.9 percent from February last year. Japan produced 8.3 Mt of crude steel in February, down 0.5 percent on February last year.

South Korea's crude steel production for February was 5.4 Mt, down 2.1 percent from February last year.

World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 131.8 Mt in February -- a 3.5 percent increase when compared last year, the report noted.

In February, India recorded 3.4 percent rise in production to 8.4 Mt, while Japan's recorded negative growth.

Japan produced more than India in all preceding months but the production gap between Japan and India was narrowing in the past few years. Japan produced 104.7 Mt steel in 2017 compared to India's 101.4 Mt. In 2015, India had overtaken the US to become the world's third-largest steel producer.

In the EU, Italy's crude steel production for February was 2.1 Mt, up by 4.5 percent from February 2017. France produced 1.3 Mt and Spain produced 1.1 Mt in February, an increase of 0.4 percent. Turkey's crude steel production was 3 Mt, up by 8.7 percent. The US produced 6.4 Mt, a 0.4 percent increase over February 2017. Brazil's output was 2.7 Mt. Capacity utilization ratio of the world steel industry was 73.3 percent.

The worldsteel is a large industry association in the world and the steel members represent approximately 85 percent of the world's steel production, including over 160 steel producers with 9 of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.

The monthly crude steel capacity utilization ratio is calculated based on crude steel production information available at worldsteel, and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) capacity estimates.