Strong rise in UK steel production

Steel production increased by almost a quarter in the UK last year on the back of a recovery in the world economy, according to a new report today.

UK Steel - a division of the Engineering Employers Federation - said there was 9.4 million tonnes of output in 2010 compared with 7.5 million tonnes the previous year.

Ian Rodgers, director of UK Steel, said: "The strong improvement in steel output during 2010 was encouraging, and reflects the pick-up in manufacturing activity experienced both in the UK and in our principal European export markets. Nevertheless production remained well below pre-recession levels.

"The disappointing end to the year was largely due to steel supply chains running down stock levels in advance of the year-end. As a consequence, many steel companies introduced extended shutdowns and maintenance closures during the Christmas period."

Mr Rodgers said the year had started positively, adding he was hopeful that steel output levels will have recovered in January.

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