UK steel industry fourth largest in Europe

The UK steel industry last year overtook Spain as the fourth largest crude steel producer in Europe behind Germany, Italy and France. Overall production last month was up 34% on its December 1998 level, hitting 1.275 million tonnes. The rise – second only in Europe to Belgium last year, which more than doubled its output to over one million tonnes – comes as total EU steel output increased by more than 22% to 12.6 million metric tons on the back of worldwide economic growth.