March 20, 2012 / 3:22 PM / 6 years ago

Global steel output shows recovery still fragile

LONDON (Reuters) - Global crude steel production rose slightly in February 2012 from a year earlier, helped by a pick up in top producer China, data from the World Steel Association showed on Tuesday.

Annualized monthly figures, which take into account the extra day in February 2012 compared with 2011, showed that both Chinese and global steel production were still slightly down last month compared with February 2011, underlying that the uncertain economic situation means the steel sector is still suffering.

“There are definitely positive signs in some parts of the world, namely China and USA. However, other major countries are still falling short of their potential, and are still disappointing to the downside,” said Denny Sabah, an analyst at trading house Ronly.

“The steel sector is slowly getting back on its feet; it still though has quite some way to go, and it is as regionally diverse as ever.”

Global steel capacity utilization rate was at 79.7 percent in February 2012, up 3.1 percent from than January 2012 but still 2.8 down from February last year, data showed.

Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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