Steel industry news and business information website.

This website is owned and operated by UK-based Metals Consulting International Ltd.
Our main business activity is steel industry capital investment appraisal.




Friendly policy toward Zimbabwe wont change China tweet
Thu 16th Nov 2017 07:24 GMT
In August, Zimbabwes government said a Chinese company planned to invest up to two billion dollars to revive operations at Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), which ceased production in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwes economic meltdown [see article]

China's avg daily steel output falls in October m/m-stats ... tweet
Mon 13th Nov 2017 19:20 GMT
Steel mills in big producing cities including Tangshan and Handan in Hebei province have been ordered to largely cut production in the winter months as the government tries to crack down pollution and clear its skies. The fall is within expectations due [see article]

Is Rapid Growth of Subway Systems in China Losing Steam tweet
Mon 13th Nov 2017 11:05 GMT
Several other cities, including the steel hub of Tangshan in Hebei province But the central government canceled Baotous project, which had a budget of more than 30 billion yuan ($4.5 billion), claiming the plans were way too ambitious for a city [see article]

Kill the vices of procrastination tweet
Sat 11th Nov 2017 16:34 GMT
For example, a vibrant (Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company) Zisco can guarantee efficient and sufficient steel production necessary for the upscaling of our foundry industries and other downstream manufacturing entities throughout the country. However [see article]

Blue skies ahead as China embarks on an epic shutdown ... tweet
Sat 11th Nov 2017 03:05 GMT
One executive at a private steel mill in Henan Province says his plant shut down in May 2016 to upgrade its pollution control systems to meet new national standards. The work was completed by July 2017, ready to restart operations in September. But the [see article]

Nucor Corporation (NUE) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment ... tweet
Thu 9th Nov 2017 19:34 GMT
According to Zacks, Nucor recorded a year-over-year decrease in earnings in third-quarter 2017. Adjusted earnings however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while sales trailed [see article]

Broker Forecast - Societe Generale issues a broker note ... tweet
Thu 9th Nov 2017 00:00 GMT
Societe Generale today reaffirms its buy investment rating on Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN) and raised its price target to 470 [see article]

Nucor executive sells over $1 million in stock tweet
Tue 7th Nov 2017 14:00 GMT
An executive at Nucor Corp., a leading producer of steel, has sold over $1 million in company stock, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission [see article]

Top trade union demands guarantees in Thyssen-Tata steel ... tweet
Tue 7th Nov 2017 00:00 GMT
DUESSELDORF Reuters - IG Metall, Germany's largest trade union called on Thyssenkrupp's (DE:TKAG) management to provide guarantees for jobs, plants and future investments in relation to a [see article]


UN: Better protections needed from mine water disasters tweet
Thu 16th Nov 2017 09:40 GMT
The iron-ore mine accident in Samarco, Brazil, for example, released some 40 million cubic meters of waste that polluted hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. The UNEP recommended governments and mining companies adopt a zero-failure goal for [see article]

Increase in Steel Production to Boost the Global Niobium ... tweet
Thu 16th Nov 2017 09:13 GMT
The HSLA steel segment accounted for close to 90% of the market share in 2016. According to Ajay Adikhari, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research, The global production of mineral concentrates of niobium is concentrated in Brazil [see article]

Elliott Management tight-lipped on BHP investment changes tweet
Wed 15th Nov 2017 07:07 GMT
Vale and Samarco, including BHP's former iron ore boss and now chief executive of grain exporter CBH, Jimmy Wilson. Those criminal charges are now able to proceed after a Brazilian court ruled that evidence collected by phone-tapping Samarco executives was [see article]

Direct reduction, blast furnace iron ore pellet contract ... tweet
Wed 15th Nov 2017 05:54 GMT
Iron ore contract pellet premiums are moving toward settlement DR-grade pellet scarcity since the Samarco operation was idled in late 2015 had led to greater usage of BF pellets at DRI plants. There is no certainty on a resumption timescale at Samarco [see article]

US Steel Imports Declined by More Than One-Tenth in September tweet
Tue 14th Nov 2017 21:30 GMT
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): According to AIIS press release, the US steel imports declined by more than one-tenth from August to September, falling to 3.05 million net tons. The August decline was driven by a 38.7 percent drop in imports from Brazil to [see article]

China iron-ore, steel prices rise ahead of output curbs tweet
Tue 14th Nov 2017 12:23 GMT
Top steel cities Tangshan and Handan earlier ordered their steel mills to reduce capacity from the start of October, while more cities in smog-prone northern areas have issued alerts ahead of bouts of smog, asking steel mills to temporarily cut production [see article]

China steel futures rise, output cuts support tweet
Sun 12th Nov 2017 23:31 GMT
It has ordered steel mills in major cities including Tangshan and Handan in the north to cut output in winter months. Steelmaking raw materials were supported by firming steel prices, Bai added. Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 1.1 percent to [see article]

Safety-first as new CBH boss settles in tweet
Sun 12th Nov 2017 11:55 GMT
The former BHP Billiton iron ore boss took the reins from former CBH CEO Andy Crane homicide after 19 people died following a dam collapse in 2015 at Brazils Samarco mine. The mine is a joint venture owned by BHP and Brazilian mining company Vale [see article]

The White Emperor Trump tweet
Sat 11th Nov 2017 17:10 GMT
Chongqing, Guangxi, Henan) urging fellow Chinese to press on. There are no material targets how many tonnes of rice and steel to produce but it is in ideas, especially if they are old ideas, that must drive China forward. Hence, onward to the [see article]

To see other steel sector news reports, check out our other steel news pages.


Middle East DRI plants
Middle East DRI plants

For other steel location maps, visit our steel industry maps page.




All cost estimates are in 2016 US dollars.
For further info visit our steel capex page.

Capital costs describe investment for an integrated slab plant with continuous casting, typically with coke, sinter etc. Representative investments include:

  • CSA slab mill investment in Sepetiba, Brazil
  • CSN investment in Itaguai, Brazil
  • CVRD-Baosteel joint venture in Vitoria, Espirito Santo in Brazil
  • Sinosteel Corporation's investment in Jharkand, India.

Average cost: $4300m
Average capacity: 4210 kt
Sample size: 12
Average cost/tonne: $1050/t


All cost estimates are in 2016 US dollars.
For further info visit our steel capex page.

Chart describes investments in ore-based integrated steel plants with hot strip production and sometimes other additional downstream rolling capability. Typical examples include:

  • Wuhan Iron & Steel investment in Fangchengang Port in China
  • ArcelorMittal investment in Karnataka, India
  • Tata Steel joint venture with VSC & Vicem for investment in Vung Ang in Vietnam.

Average cost: $7560m
Average capacity: 6660 kt
Sample size: 16
Average cost/tonne: $1200/t

Analyses above were last updated in January 2016. For further item-specific capital investment data see our steel capex database page.


steel sector employment benchmarks

Chart above shows current employment levels at 114 different steel firms around the world - companies that make flat, long and/or tubular carbon steel products. An average steel producer with a production capacity of ~3 mt steel/year typically thus has ~4000 employees. If your steel company employs more than this, please call us - our technical experts can assist with steel plant productivity improvement.

To discuss the interpretation of this chart and/or further information (including employment benchmarks for specialty steel production) please email us at the address shown at the foot of the page.


Table below shows global crude steel production volumes and capacity figures - as assessed by World Steel Association and by the OECD to 2018 - and resulting calculation of steelmaking capacity utilisation. The overall picture for 2018 as compared to 2017 is that of a tiny reduction in the global capacity surplus [which will fall from ~602mt to ~598mt] and a small but significant improvement in world capacity utilisation at the crude steel level.

million t
million t
Source: MCI analysis. Table last updated 15-Nov-17.

Graph below shows the relationship between steel prices and the global level of capacity utilisation - and indicates (both for HRC and for rebar) that prices fall ~$27/tonne per 1% drop in capacity utilisation.

world steel price levels

In 2017, on the basis that world capacity utilisation remains largely at 2016 levels of approx 67.4% (see table), MCI's consultants expect steel prices to remain at 2016 levels. In 2018, assuming a very small improvement in global capacity utilisation, we forecast just a tiny increase in steel price levels of the order of $5/tonne (hot rolled coil and reinforcing bar). For other products and / or for steel price forecasts through to 2020, please contact us.