Metal Bulletins ranking of top steelmakers by output has been a long-standing opportunity to take an annual snapshot of the geographical distribution of production, and one indicator of the relative health of different national and regional steelmaking industries.
The 2018 edition published in this issue of Metal Market Magazine is no exception. Our international team of steel journalists provide a summary of the key trends in their areas. Trade protection measures are looming large in the minds of steelmakers worldwide, while the consolidation of Chinas dominant steelmaking capacity continues to capture attention.
A vital ingredient for integrated steelmaking, global iron ore supplies and prices are constantly monitored for potential volatility in spot prices nowadays with the previously dominant annual mating season to agree the price between iron ore producers and steelmakers becoming a distant memory. Regional ore quality and availability impact local costs. Metal Bulletins suite of indicators, indices and differentials for iron ore provide transparency and opportunities for price risk management. Our own experts explain the suites value in this issue.
Whatever price steelmakers are paying for their raw materials, extracting the greatest yield achievable from them in an efficient and environmentally friendly way is a key factor for profitability. The hot end of steelmaking is just one part of the complete process, but it and all the downstream processing steps are encompassed by Industry 4.0 the topic of a major feature article looking at the ways in which digital technologies from boardroom to factory floor are being harnessed and connected to maximize efficiency, quality and profitability.
Our next issue of Metal Market Magazine will include the winners of the American Metal Market Awards for Steel Excellence. It will be a further opportunity to see how steel companies themselves, and their suppliers, are pushing the boundaries in many ways to further enhance the future for steelmakers and their products.