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.