A report on the global steel trade by the CRU Group highlights how the dynamics of steel inter-trade between high growth markets has shifted dramatically in the last decade.

The paper outlines how cost base, trade agreements, and the geographical position of individual countries have all played an important role in determining the ability to sell in international markets, whilst retaining domestic market share. The report also discusses the impact of the global recession in 2007/08 on world trade patterns: Steel demand in the developed world was badly affected, and as a result steel consumption in high growth countries became more important. China’s increasing presence made this process even more dramatic.

This period has been dominated by the rise of China and Turkey, not only in terms of domestic demand growth, but also in terms of export demand growth. CRU’s report details how this has been at the expense of Brazil, India and Ukraine. Despite having access to natural resources, India and Brazil have failed to leverage their competitive advantage and thus have not only lost presence in the international context, but have also seen their domestic market become flooded by steel from lower cost countries. A similar situation was also experienced in South East Asia, due to its proximity to China.

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