UK steel production on road to recovery

British crude steel production averaged 228,000 tonnes a week in 2013, 23.7% higher than the previous year.

According to UK Steel, the sector's trade association, output in the fourth quarter of last year averaged 238,000 tonnes per week, up 1.3% from the previous quarter and 23.1% higher than the same period in 2012.

This has largely been attributed to the continued increase in output from the Teesside steelworks, now owned by the Thai company SSI, and also to higher output from Tata Steel's Port Talbot plant following the rebuilding of a blast furnace last year.

Ian Rodgers, director of UK Steel, said: "The size of the increase is not reflective of the state of the UK market as, to a large extent, this increased output relates to the captive sales of semi-finished steel by the Teesside plant to its parent in Thailand.

"Nevertheless, it was heartening that 2013 ended on a strong note, with Q4 output at the highest quarterly level since the start of the recession. This suggests that UK demand for steel has now turned a corner."

Rodgers did warn, however, that production still remains well below the 2007 peak. He also added that the recovery in UK steel demand "continues to be weak and patchy".

Laura Hopperton

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Volvo cars will only take their car production steel from Port Talbot steel works such is the good quality of steel production from Tata Steel at Port Talbot

Comment Richard Corso, 29/01/2014

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