New Delhi: India maintained its position as the fourth largest steel producer in 2011, despite 5.7 percent output growth as against the world average of 6.8 percent, the World Steel Association (WSA) said.

Recording an increase of 6.8 percent in 2011 over 2010, global steel production hit a record 1,527 million tonnes. On the other hand, India produced 72.2 million tonnes steel last year over 68.3 million tonnes in the previous year.

WSA is the world's largest steel industry association and its members produce around 85 percent of the global output.

As in the previous years, China contributed the highest to the global steel production at 695.5 million tonnes in 2011 over 638.7 million tonnes in 2010.

China's supremacy in the sector is unlikely to go in foreseeable future as the world's second largest maker, Japan, produced 107.6 million tonnes in 2011, it said. Production in Japan has come down from 109.6 million tonnes in 2010.

Third in the order was the US, with output going up by 7.1 percent to 86.2 million tonnes in 2011 over 80.5 million tonnes in the previous year, the WSA data showed.

Russia, ranked fifth, produced 68.7 million tonnes steel in 2011 against 66.9 million tonnes in 2010, recording 2.7 percent growth in production.

South Korea was at close sixth at 68.5 million tonnes in production. However, the growth in steel output in the country was the highest among the top-10 producing nations at 16.2 percent. South Korea produced 58.9 million tonnes steel in 2010.

Turkey registered the highest growth rate in 2011 at 17 percent to produce 34.1 million tonnes steel against 29.1 million tonnes in the previous year. It ranked 10th.

The seventh, eighth and ninth position held by Germany, Ukraine and Brazil, respectively, it added.