World cost curve - HRC - hot rolled coil. logo

World cost curve - hot rolled steel coil - 2019

A cost curve is shown of hot rolled steel coil ex-works production costs for all major world steelmakers with hot strip mill capacity of over 2 mt/year. Approx 180 steel plants from around the world are included in the analysis.

The world's lowest cost producer of HRC in mid-2019 was judged to be Sidor in Venezuela, with a hot rolled coil cash cost of ~$265 / tonne. Sidor's low cost position arises from its access to low cost iron ore and cheap natural gas.

Not far behind in cost terms are some of the integrated steel plants like ArcelorMittal Temirtau or the facilities in Iran such as Mobarakeh and Khouzestan, that also benefit from low-cost captive coal, iron ore or very cheap natural gas. The cash cost for production of HRC at these facilities in mid-2019 was ~$350-$375 / tonne.

The other end of the scale includes plants such as ThyssenKrupp Duisburg in Germany and the ArcelorMittal Cracow plant in Poland where the estimated HRC cash cost is close to $580/tonne.

The world's high cost producers of flat rolled steel are typically:

  • scrap-based electric steelmakers at a time of high scrap prices
  • integrated steelmakers with inland locations and purchased raw materials, where high transport costs add to the high purchase prices
  • plants dependent on purchased coke
  • independent hot rolling mills purchasing slab at market prices, plus transport.

world cost curve hot rolled steel coil

For further information (or to purchase the analysis behind this chart, showing the cost breakdowns and relative cost positions of all 180 hot strip mills) please contact Metals Consulting International Limited [MCI] by email at

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