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The modern world of steel

08.01.2012  |  Thinnes, Billy,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [steel] [refining] [crude steel] [pig iron production] [China] [Japan] [US] [India] [Russia]

The World Steel Association recently published the 2012 edition of “World Steel in Figures.” This study provides essential facts and statistics about the global steel industry, including information on crude steel production, apparent steel use, pig iron production, the steel trade, iron ore production and trade, and scrap trade.

Steel plays an important role at an oil refinery. Within a hydrocarbon processing facility, important trays, piping, tubing, boilers, exchangers and the like are all reliant on steel. The refinery of today is especially interested in high-alloy, corrosion-resistant steels, especially stainless steels, to process crudes all across the corrosive spectrum.

The World Steel Association’s study provides data to clarify where the steel is coming from that is being used in new projects like Borouge in Ruwais, UAE, and CNOOC’s refinery in Huizhou, China. The top five steel-producing countries of 2011 can be found in Table 1, and they should not come as a surprise. China, Japan, the US, India and Russia have all been steel-producing powerhouses for some time.

Table 2 provides the crucial data indicating the world’s top steel-producing companies. ArchelorMittal is by far the globe’s leader in steel, producing 97.2 million tons in 2011. The company’s next-closest competitor, Hebei Group, was a distant second, at 44.4 million tons produced.

Providing a distillation of data that can then be used as a springboard to other economic analysis, Table 3 breaks down the top 10 countries with the highest apparent steel use per capita. Of particular interest are the high rankings achieved by the Czech Republic (3rd) and Belgium-Luxembourg (10th).

When parsing these statistics, be aware that apparent steel use comprises the deliveries of steel to the marketplace from the domestic steel producers together with imports. This differs from real steel use, which takes into account steel delivered to or drawn from inventories.

For more information on this study, visit www.worldsteel.org. HP

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