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United States ranked fourth worldwide in steel production

Steelmaking operation is shown at ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor. The World Steel Association found the United States ranked fourth internationally in steel production last year.

The United States made 81.6 million tons of steel in 2017, fourth in the world after China, Japan and India, according to the World Steel Association.

It was a 4 percent increase over the 78.5 million tons America produced during 2016, according to the Brussels, Belgium-based trade association.

Both Japan and India made about 20 million more tons of steel than the United States last year. China produced 10 times as much steel: 831.7 million tons.

Chinese steel production grew by 5.7 percent, according to the World Steel Association. China made 49.2 percent of the world’s steel last year, up from 49 percent in 2016.

Steel output grew by 6.2 percent in India, 4.1 percent in the European Union and 3.7 percent in South Korea. Production rose 4.8 percent to 116 million tons in North America, most of which was made in the United States.

Overall, the 66 steelmaking countries that report to the World Steel Association produced 1.6 billion tons of steel last year, a 5.3 percent increase over 2016.

In December, the world made 138.1 million tons of steel, a 3.9 percent year-over-year increase. That was at a capacity utilization ratio of 69.5 percent, a 1.8 percentage point increase over December 2016.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.