British crude steel output increased 2.3pc to 619,000mt in February 2021, from 604,000mt in the prior month, according to the latest data released by the World Steel Association.
UK steel output has partially benefitted from a rebound in steel-intensive domestic construction and manufacturing activity through the first quarter of 2021. According to the IHS Market/CIPS manufacturing purchasing manufacturers’ index, factory activity has climbed from a recent low of 54.1 in January to a flash reading of 57.9 in March.
Conversely, UK blast furnace iron production declined 1.3pc to 465,000mt in February, from 471,000mt the prior month. The latest worldsteel data indicates that domestic ferrous scrap use increased over this period due to the relatively lower hot metal production.
Moreover, British crude steel output and hot metal production increased 7.5pc and 11.7pc respectively compared with volumes produced in the same month in 2020. This suggests that while ferrous scrap use has increased over the past month, pig iron consumption has increased at a relatively faster pace over the past year.