Emerging nations to lead in steel production by 2010

30 August 2006

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 30 – Emerging nations are taking on an increasingly significant role in world steel production and are expected to lead the market by 2010, according to projections published Tuesday by the technical director of the Brazilian Steelworking Institute (IBS) and reported by the online version of newspaper, Estadão.

Rudolf Bühler, who was speaking at a seminar for journalists in Rio de Janeiro, said that in 1970, 85 percent of global steelmaking capacity was concentrated in rich countries that were part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 15 percent was in the hands of emerging markets.

In 1990 the participation of rich countries fell to 69 percent, and to 52 percent in 2000.

The IBS’s projections indicate that that participation will fall to 42 percent in 2010, with emerging markets accounting for the remaining 58 percent.

Bühler said that, in Brazil (the ninth largest producer in the world, which exports a third of annual production), the German group Thyssen-Krupp is setting up a 5 million ton factory in Rio de Janeiro, while Italian group Danielli is investing in Ceará, in Northeastern Brazil.

He said that China’s Baosteel recently announced its plan to invest in a 4.5 million ton unit in partnership with Comapnhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN) in Itaguaí, in Rio de Janeiro state.

Last year, China alone produced approximately 350 million tons of steel, which is as much as the other five world steelmaking giants put together: Japan (112 million), United States (93 million), Russia (66 million), South Korea (48 million) and Germany (44 million).

Bühler said that the Chinese production surplus could be placed on the international market, putting pressure on world steel prices. (macauhub)