Iron ore: Where it all begins for the steel industry

Mar 28, 2013 | 07:00 PM | Thomas C. Graham

Tags  Parting Shots, Thomas C. Graham, iron ore, U.S. Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal SA, Steel Dynamics Inc., Vale SA, BHP Billiton Plc Rio Tinto Plc

In the modern history of the world steel business, one of the longest-running strategic controversies has to be the question of owning iron ore properties vs. buying iron ore. This disparity in strategy involving a very fundamental characteristic of steel companies was never more visible than it was in 2012.

The divergence is largely a continental phenomenon. European, Japanese, South Korean and, most recently, Chinese steel industries were all built on the premise of purchasing iron ore on the world market. North and South American steel companies are largely developed around the notion of owning and operating ore properties or owning an equity interest in an iron ore venture. ....

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