Steel coils.  Picture: BLOOMBERG
Steel coils. Picture: BLOOMBERG

SA’s steel production surged by 24.4% year on year in August to 554,000 tonnes, after a 6.3% decline in July, to 493,000 tonnes, and June’s 15.9% plunge to 458,000 tonnes, according to the World Steel Association.

Steel production is an important indicator of a country’s economic health, so economists were worried that the sharp drop in June could indicate that the ratings downgrade in April had prompted steel makers to reduce production, as in the first five months there had been only a small annual drop of 0.8%.

This fear appears to have been set aside in August as the steel tariffs imposed in July, and the small cut in interest rates in the same month, seems to have boosted steel production.

Global steel production grew by an annual 6.3% in August to a near-record 143.6-million tonnes, with China’s steel production jumping by 8.7% to 74.6-million tonnes, which is good news for iron ore producer Kumba.

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