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Latin American Steel: A retrospective in 101 Essays
January/February 2015

January/February 2015

Welcome to the first issue of 2015 and a Happy New Year. In this month's issue we talk to NLMK's director of strategy and business development, Konstantin Arshakuni, and EUROFER's director-general Axel Eggert about what we can expect from the steel industry in 2015.

Arshakuni says it will be a 'muddle-through' year while Eggert keeps his focus on China, arguing that the main concern for EU steelmakers will be the continuation of elevated import levels from China and other countries. In fact, where dumping is concerned the Latin American steel industry is worried not only about China but about Turkey.

The subject was discussed at length at the recent Brazilian Steel Institute's 25th Annual Conference in Sao Paulo where SteelFirst's Vera Blei said that Turkey was a new threat for steelmakers generally and for Latin America in particular. The Turks have it all to play for, Blei insisted: a highly adaptable private sector, an entrepreneurial spirit and, above all, a prime geographical location thanks to coastal plants offering 'major logistical advantages and cost efficiencies'.

In a news item, EUROFER'S Axel Eggert claims that unfair trading practices by non-EU steel-producing countries have proliferated since the global crisis and that the countries concerned are undermining the so-called level playing field for European steelmakers. He said that European trade policy needs to be reactive and effective and believes that securing an internationally level playing field is becoming increasingly challenging.

Everybody is calling for action against cheap steel being imported into their countries: In India, falling demand from domestic consumer sectors has negatively affected the country's steel industry and there has also been a sharp increase in imports from China. The Latin American steel industry claims that action is needed on Chinese finished steel and is worried about Turkey, which has been the focus of many trade defence cases globally.

And talking of Latin America, Steel Times International's January/February edition carries an article by Germano Mendes de Paul on the aforementioned Brazilian Steel Institute's 25th Annual Conference where China and Turkey were discussed at length. Turkey is targetting Latin America with long products.

But there's more to Steel Times International than China and Turkey. There are, of course, some excellent technical features, including one from Nucor and Konecranes discussing the former's one-crane solution at its melt shop in Jewett, Texas. Also under the banner of Handling & Scheduling is an article by Primetals Technologies of Germany.

Chemical composition control is dealt with by steel consultant Keith Walker who argues that achieving the correct composition is essential in order to achieve the required mechanical properties in the final product.

If rolling is your thing then don't forget the article by Steel Authority of India Ltd's Research & Development Centre for Iron & Steel in which R&D experts discuss absolute encoders and how they can reduce breakages.

This month PANalytical's Dr. Micaela Longo, the company's segment manager for the metals market, answers our pertinent questions and Harry Hodson puts pen to paper to discuss how steel shaped the modern world.

January/February 2015 Contents

Recent News

World crude steel production down by 2.9% for January 2015

World Steel’s latest figures for global crude steel production have been released and show that there has been a 2.9% decrease for January 2015 when compared to the same period last year.

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Crossrail contracts Tata Steel for 7kt of wear-resistant, heat-treated rail steel

A contract to supply highly wear-resistant rail for the London, UK-based Crossrail project has been awarded to Tata Steel.

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Advanced IT solutions for major Russian steelmaker

OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) has adopted what it calls a ‘broad IT development strategy’ as part of an advanced IT adoption strategy launched in 2014.

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Chinese boost stainless production

China produced 21.6Mt of stainless crude steel in 2014, up 2.7Mt (14.2%) over 2013 figures, according to the Stainless Steel Council of China Special Steel Enterprises Association.

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Recent Features

Monocon International Refractories

UK-based Monocon International Refractories are looking to recruit a UK and International Sales Manager and Product Managers.

Founded 40 years ago, the company is based in South Yorkshire, employs 120 people and boasts a turnover of approximately £30 million. 

The company has recently made a substantial investment in a new technology centre aimed at expanding the company's product portfolio and enhance its current product range.

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Low growth and high volatility

Low growth might be the 'new normal' until the emerging economies pick up, says Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, chairman of world steel's economics committee. Matthew Moggridge, editor of Steel Times International, reports.

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Mitigation of explosion risk in vacuum degassing plants

With the introduction of mechanical vacuum pumps for degassing, methods of efficient gas
cooling and dust separation become necessary to avoid the risk of a combination of a critical offgas
composition along with an ignition point resulting in an explosion. This article reviews how to
undertake a risk assessment and looks at equipment to mitigate the risk.
By Wilhelm Burgmann* & Uwe Zöellig**

* Consultant for Vacuum Metallurgy, (Strasbourg), e-mail wburgmann@burgmann-net.de
** Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum GmbH (Cologne/Germany), e-mail Uwe.Zoellig@oerlikon.com

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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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