The Steel Industry in China

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The steel industry is often considered an indicator of economic progress, because of the critical role played by steel in infrastructural and overall economic development. The Steel industry in China has developed over several decades into the world biggest. China accounted for 70.4% of world steel production in 2012. It has driven by rapid modernization of its economy, construction, infrastructure and manufacturing industries.

Chart 1: Top 5 countries with the major steel production in the world (2012).

Position

Country

Steel Production (million tonnes)

1

China

716.5

2

Japan

107.2

3

United States

88.6

4

India

76.4

5

Russia

70.6

The development of the Chinese steel production dominates both Asian and Global steel output. Also China has emerged as major consumer of this commodity and important player in the steel price, Chinese steel exports have dominated headlines in recent years, not just because of the total tonnages being exported, but also due to their volatility. With Chinese production levels so high even small changes in the proportion going to the domestic market can create export surges with serious implications for markets elsewhere.

Chart 2: Top 5 exports of steel in 2012

Position Country Million tonnes

1

China 47.9

2

Japan 40.7

3

South Korea 28.9

4

Germany 26.4

5

Ukraine 26.0

The economic boom in China has caused a massive increase in the demand for steel in recent years. Between 2000 and 2010, world steel demand increased by 6%. Since 2000’s, several Chinese steel firms have risen to prominence like Hebei Iron and Steel and Baosteel Group Corporation being the 2nd and 3rd largest steel-producing companies in the world respectively. ArcelorMittal (Luxemburg) is however the world's largest steel producer around the globe.

Chart 3: Major importers of steel in 2012

Position

Country

Million tonnes

1

United States

26.9

2

Germany

24.9

3

South Korea

22.8

4

Italy

17.5

5

China

16.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The steel Industry has a major role to play in the economic growth of China. Steel has been and will be basic to the China’s industrial economy with coal and gold mining. Steel plays a vital role in building the infrastructure. The drive to industrialization in China has made it the country with the world’s highest steel production and highest steel demand.

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