January/February 2019


It’s 2019, we’re about three weeks in, and already I’m wondering what will take place in the global steel arena as the new year unfolds. One online report claims that India is now the second biggest steelmaker in the world having taken over from Japan. It’s a close-run thing with India recorded as producing 96.92Mt during the first 11 months of last year and Japan dipping by 0.1% to 95.92Mt. China is still way ahead  at a staggering 857.37Mt.

The Indian steel industry is hotting up. Two large South Korean steelmakers, POSCO and Hyundai, are in talks with the Indian Government regarding investment in value-added steel production via joint ventures with leading Indian steelmakers. There is also news that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, wants to stoke local production of high-grade steel and reduce import dependence.

Meanwhile, Indian steel giant Tata Steel and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd are both making the headlines: Tata Steel is seeking government support to develop the Subarnarekha port on the country’s east coast – and has increased its shareholding in Creative Port Development Private Ltd to 51% – while JSPL has shipped over 55% of a big rail order for Indian railways, several months ahead of schedule. 

ArcelorMittal’s bid for the 10Mt/yr Essar Steel rolls on as media reports criticise India’s bankruptcy code, some claiming that its teeth have been replaced by dentures, others saying it lacks ‘bite’. 

India faces more imports from China and Turkey, thanks to US president Donald Trump’s 25% tariffs, announced early last year, which are diverting steel destined for the USA to India. And if that’s not bad enough, some industry observers claim that Indian steel exports are ‘largely price-uncompetitive’ in world markets.

The Indian government is not overly concerned about imports, according to online media reports. An article by Argus Media quoted an Indian steel ministry official who claimed that it’s not imports that are alarming, but India’s tariff barriers, which are ‘not very effective’.

The future awaits us all as we paddle in the shallows of the new year. Indian steelmakers can only wait and see what transpires.

Future Steel Forum Asia, New Delhi, India, 20-21 November 2019, Leela Ambience Hotel, New Delhi. Deadline for abstracts is Monday 4th March 2019. For further details, log on to http://www.futuresteelforum.com/asia or visit http://www.futuresteelforum.com and follow the link


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January/February 2019 highlights

2 Leader by Matthew Moggridge, editor, Steel Times International

4 News – Industry news, astounding facts and figures, news round-up and diary dates

9 Innovations – The latest contracts and new products from the international plant builders and suppliers

16 USA update – Strong economy, strong opinions

19 Latin America update – Gerdau's divestments. We look at the company's 'internationalisation' strategy

Direct Reduced Iron

23 How much DRI is one billion tonnes?

27 Trends in H2-based steelmaking

35 Digital manufacturing: Hi-tech steel production planning

45 Perspectives: REIDSTEEL – Pro-Brexit and extremely optimistic

48 History: Walking to work, by Dr. Tim Smith, consultant editor, Steel Times International