UK’S Iron & Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB) recently published ‘Annual Statistics 2012’ which details UK’s steel and iron production and import / export trade by product, volume and price, as well as raw materials and energy use.

The 47 page A4 softback contains 35 Tables generally with data back dated, as far back as 1987 in its general summary, but in some tables by no more than five years.

The general summary tells us that ore production in UK ceased in 1992, a year when just 28kt of domestic ore was produced and 17.54Mt imported. Crude steel production that year was 16.05Mt of which 3.959Mt (24.6%) was made by the electric arc route (EAF).

In contrast, in 2012, 10.51Mt of ore was imported to make 9.579Mt of crude steel of which 2.054Mt was by the EAF (21.4%).

Energy consumption is given in terms of coal, coke, process gas, natural gas & oil consumption with an estimated energy equivalent of total consumption calculated. This indicates a fall in UK’s total energy consumption in steel production of 31.76% since 2007 with consumption in 2012 being 177.4 thousand terajoules or 50802 GWh, but this reveals a 2.6% increase in energy consumption per tonne crude steel produced in 2012. The reason for this is the efficiency of production falls as output is reduced. In 2007, 14.392Mt of crude steel were made compared with 9.579Mt in 2009. The data presented allow such analysis to be made although this is not underlined in the report.

On trade, Direct and Indirect imports of steel are reported. Direct imports in 2012 were 5.6961Mt valued at £3.7576bn cif or averaging £659.7/t of which 89.8% came from Europe with Germany being the largest source (872.3kt), followed by Benelux (700.6kt), Netherlands (650.1kt), Spain (556.2kt) and Russia (468.0kt). Outside Europe, imports from China predominated at 240kt but accounting for just 0.42% of the total. Of total imports, Tube & Pipe were the main product accounting for 12.4% by volume or 20.8% by value.

Total steel product exports amounted to 6.184Mt valued at £4.611bn fob averaging £745.6 per tonne. This made UK a net volume exporter by 488kt in 2012 and a net value gain of £853.4M. Europe was the main destination of exports taking 61.6% and coated sheet and plate were the main product exported.
Indirect imports of steel in 2012 via steel intensive goods amounted to 9.423Mt of which motor vehicles accounted for 41.8%, metal goods 21.7%, Plant & Machinery 12.4% and Electrical goods, 10.7%. Europe was the main source of indirect imports accounting for 83.9% and China 16.9%.

‘United Kingdom Iron & Steel Industry Annual Statistics 2012’ Price £230 incl P&P, Available from ISSB Ltd, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AF Tel +44 (0) 20 7343 3900 e-mail web