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.
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