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.




Lakshmi Mittal 's global empire: An asset or a liability ... tweet
Sat 17th Mar 2018 00:00 GMT
With Mittal making a case for ArcelorMittal's global experience in the Essar Steel bid, here is a look into how the world's largest steelmaker has fared of late [see article]

STEEL WEEK IN BRIEF: Section 232 wrap, US steel prices ... tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 12:55 GMT
Brazilian steel producer CSN is negotiating the sale of its LLC subsidiary in the US. Brazilian iron ore pellet producer Samarco has appointed Rodrigo Alvarenga Vilela its interim chief executive officer, with effect from March 28. And finally, Chinas [see article]

Iran sees increase in iron ore output tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 04:47 GMT
The figure indicates a 15 percent increase compared to the preceding year, IMIDRO said on March 14 followed by Mobarakeh Steel Company(6.97 million). Over 17.406 million tons of sponge iron produced by the state-run companies, 15 percent more compared [see article]

Ziscosteel to focus on domestic market: CEO tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 17:20 GMT
The shift in focus has been forced by changes in the global steel industry where China is dumping cheaper product on the market while, elsewhere, the United States is hiking tariffs against imports to protect local companies. ZISCO, once the largest [see article]

Iron ore's losing streak is over tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:48 GMT
Chambers said steel and iron ore futures were also buoyed by reports of further steel production curbs in the industrial city of Tangshan in Chinas Hebei Province. Tangshan has ordered mills closest to the city centre to halt 15% of capacity [see article]

Numetal ready to buy out Rewant Ruia; claims their bid ... tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:00 GMT
Numetal and ArcelorMittal are the only two bidders for the 10-million tonne Essar Steel assets at Hazira, which owe the banks more than Rs 45,000 crore [see article]

New Tata Steel UK pension scheme to be set up after meeting ... tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:00 GMT
By Maytaal Angel LONDON Reuters - A new pension fund backed by Tata Steel UK (NS:TISC), a unit of India's Tata Steel, will be set up after meeting minimum size and funding criteria, paving [see article]

Made strong bid for Essar Steel: Lakshmi Mittal tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:00 GMT
We see opportunity in Essar, that is why we put in our bid, the company's chairman and CEO said in an interaction with TOI [see article]

Essar Steel bids: Government won’t intervene, seeks ... tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:00 GMT
Bids by ArcelorMittal and Numetal Mauritius have raised red flags over eligibility but the government feels that the matter can be decided in favour of one of the entities [see article]

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Spotlight: China, Europe natural partners in Belt, Road ... tweet
Sat 17th Mar 2018 11:06 GMT
For instance, in Serbia, a Chinese enterprise bought a troubled steel mill and turned it around in less than the capital city of central China's Henan province, Aug. 2, 2017. The Belt and Road Initiative has made the inland province an emerging [see article]

Could Steel Tariffs Slow The 100% Renewable Movement tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 17:45 GMT
Immediately, gasps rang out across the markets we import more steel and aluminum from Canada than from anyone else. The next three biggest suppliers are all our allies Brazil, South Korea and Mexico. China, the real target of Trumps ire [see article]

Ukraine: Ferrexpo output down in January-February 2018 tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 10:57 GMT
In January-February Ferrexpo produced 1.675 million tons of iron ore pellets, down by 3.8% YoY. Concentrate output dropped by 6.4%, to 2.019 million tons. In February Ferrexpo produced 771 thousand tons of pellets and 926 thousand tons of concentrate. Last year Ferrexpo decreased pellets production by 6.8% YoY, to 10.444 million tons. (Ukrainian metal) [see article]

Australia's Fortescue follows Chinese steelmakers' pivot ... tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 10:16 GMT
Founded in 2003, East Perth-based Fortescue exports the bulk of its ore to China. China's Hunan Valin Iron & Steel Group holds a roughly 14% stake in the miner. We are looking at opportunities to diversify our customer base, Gaines said, citing Japan [see article]

US Suspects that Brazil Has Been Buying Steel from China ... tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 07:38 GMT
The United States suspects that Brazil has been buying Chinese steel and re-exporting it. The Brazilian steel sector has denied the claims, but such suspicions may have arisen as a pretext to keep the country on the list of nations that will be slapped [see article]

Investor alarm over Grange Resources' plan to diversify ... tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 04:52 GMT
Ironically, Savage River's iron ore has rarely been in more demand; the pellets and concentrate produced by the mine have been in short supply globally since BHP's Samarco operation was disrupted by a dam failure in 2015. The 65 per cent iron content in [see article]

Chinas steel prices, margins fall despite output curbs tweet
Fri 16th Mar 2018 02:52 GMT
Profit margins for steel mills across China have dropped from a record high of 2,000 yuan/t ($316/t) in December. A Henan-based steel mill said it is now making a profit of around Yn400/t. A Tangshan-based mill is making profits of Yn600-800/t across [see article]

Shanghai steel rises on strong demand outlook, hoists ... tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 16:38 GMT
Chinese steel output is expected to rise further from tomorrow when winter curbs on producers in northern cities are lifted as the winter heating season ends. Some cities, including top-producing Tangshan, plan to extend the output restrictions [see article]

Brazil to Discuss with U.S.A Increased Tariffs on Steel ... tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 08:11 GMT
Brasilia, Mar 15 (Prensa Latina) Brazil said today that it will discuss with the United States the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a measure that will damage Brazil. President Michel Temer said in [see article]

China's economy kicks off 2018 on forecast-beating data tweet
Thu 15th Mar 2018 00:37 GMT
An employee mixes ore at a steel plant of Baogang Group in Baotou, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Photo/Xinhua China's economy kicked off 2018 on a strong note with better-than-expected data for the first two months. Industrial output expanded at [see article]

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


European SBQ plants
European SBQ 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.


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Steel Guru at
SteelOrbis at
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