ISTANBUL The global steel industry is going through a period of recession, despite the signs of economic recovery, according to a South Korean executive.
The rate of growth in steel demand is gradually decreasing, Posco Research Institute director Chang Ho Kwag said Feb. 20 at the 11th Steel Success Strategies conference in Istanbul.
At the same time, he added, steelmaking facilities are constantly expanding in developing countries in spite of government efforts to stem the growth.
Many steelmakers are now on the verge of collapse, Kwag said, as both growth rate and profitability went down again after a short-lived recovery. This was caused by demand slowdown, oversupply and high raw material prices.
Earnings per tonne among the top 30 steelmakers retreated to levels seen in the 1980s and 1990s, while 56 percent of steelmakers worldwide showed negative free cash flow in 2012, he added.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.