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U.S. steel production growth lags behind rest of world in August

ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago. Steel production in the United States rose by 0.3% in August.

U.S. steel production rose by 0.3% year-over-year in August, as compared to a 3.4% increase worldwide, led by a 9.3% surge in China.

The World Steel Association reported the United States made 7.5 million tons of steel in August.

China's largely state-run and heavily subsidized steel industry produced 87.3 million tons of steel in August, again making roughly as much steel as the United States does in a year, and leading the world by a wide margin. Japan came in second worldwide in August when it made 8.1 million tons of steel, which was down 7.9% as compared to August 2018, according to the Brussels, Belgium-based trade association.

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In August, steel production rose 0.8% to 3.3 million tons in Germany, 11.2% to 1.1 million tons in France, and 8.5% to 1.9 million tons in Ukraine, according to the World Steel Association. Steel output fell that month by 2.6% to 5.9 million tons in South Korea, 26.7% to 0.9 million tons in Italy, by 4.6% to 1.1 million tons in Spain, by 13.4% to 2.5 million tons in Brazil, and by 12.4% to 2.6 million tons in Turkey.

Output increased worldwide while prices remained depressed at 2016 levels.

In the week that ended Sept. 23, the price of hot-rolled steel band fell 1% to $629 a ton in the United States, according to the steel pricing website Steelbenchmarker. The price of cold-rolled steel dropped 2% to $828 a ton, while the price of standard plate increased by 5% to $844 a ton.

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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.