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July/August 2014

July/August 2014

Some media people refer to the summer months as the 'silly season' but not Steel Times International. Our July/August edition examines some of the serious issues affecting the global steel industry. With steel imports into the USA growing steadily and creating a growing sense of unease in the process, Manik Mehta, our US correspondent, looks at the situation and finds that Russian exports to the USA increased by 324% during the first five months of 2014.

Russia was by no means the biggest exporter of steel to the USA. At 501kt during the first five months of the year, the Russians came in fifth. South Korea was the biggest offender (2.1Mt) and now, of course, we have heard that the American Department of Commerce has introduced heavy tariffs on the offending countries – music to the ears of the Americans but bad news for the South Koreans who, ironically, are now calling for a more level playing field.

Cheap OTCG from outside of the USA has led US Steel to idle two of its tubular manufacturing plants in the USA but, as Ben Ehmcke argues in his article, The demise of US GOES steel production, an article about the demise of grain-oriented silicon electrical steel, import restrictions on GOES by US producers are likely to drive manufacture of transformer core assemblies offshore – resulting in job losses in the USA.

Steel Times International travelled to Edinburgh recently to attend Eurocoke 2014, an insightful event full of many interesting presentations from respected analysts such as CRU and the US-based Steel Insights. A full report of the event can be found inside the July/August edition.

There are also two articles – from Siemens and steel consultant Keith Walker – on oxygen steelmaking and an interesting profile of a German steel processor, CD Walzholz of Hagen. We spoke to managing director, Dr. Matthais Gierse about the company's global presence.

Magnetic Analysis Corporation's CEO Joseph Vitulli, says that his superpower, should he be granted one, would be to try and level the playing field so that innovation, more than inexpensive labour, would determine the winners and losers – read about this and other things in our regular Perspectives Q&A interview.

In addition to our usual regular pages, such as the Updates and the History page, we have introduced a technology page, highlighting some of the new products being introduced by those companies active in the development and supply of processing technology.

All-in-all it's a good issue packed with industry news, analysis, technical features, company profiles and everything you might expect from a top-notch, global steel publication.

July/August 2014 Contents

Recent News

Russian steelmaker NLMK rolls with it

The NLMK Group has reported Q2 2014 steel output of 3.7Mt, down 3.5% quarter-on-quarter.

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June 2014 crude steel production for the 65 countries reporting to worldsteel

June 2014's world crude steel production for the 65 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 137Mt million tonnes, an increase of 3.1% when compared to June 2013.

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Chinese abolish protective tariff policy on imported steel

Tax preferences on 78 different types of imported steel products will be abolished in China from 31 July.

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Chinese steel prices will remain low

China’s steel prices are expected to stay low, claims MySteel, as the country enters the hottest period of the year.

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Recent Features

Steel utility poles versus wood

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) estimates that approximately 185 million utility poles are in service in North America, and most of them are made from wood. When utility poles need to be replaced or a new distribution line set up, utility managers consider factors such as cost and reliability. But increasingly they are also considering the impact of the material on the environment and reviewing their options. By Mark Thimons, director, construction sustainability, Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron & Steel Institute

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What are we without steel?

In the third and final part of his exclusive interview with Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, Matthew Moggridge, editor of Steel Times International, discusses carbon emissions, climate change, the environment and sustainability

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Challenges and opportunities

In part two of an exclusive interview with Steel Times International, Matthew Moggridge talks to Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, about the present challenges and opportunities for the global steel industry.

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Europe’s misplaced ideals?

Gordon Moffat, director-general of EUROFER, says that European climate policy as it stands is threatening the competitiveness of European steelmakers and turning Europe into an industrial museum. However, in an exclusive interview with Steel Times International, he argues that the European Commission's Steel Action Plan has opened up the debate.

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