World steel industry: changes in the regional structure and their effects for ukraine (analytical overview)

Vira A. Nikiforova


The paper studies changes and basic trends in the development of the regional structure of the world steel industry on such traditional indicators as production volumes, steelmaking capacities, consumption, exports and imports of metal products. The relevance of this analytical review is explained by the differences in the operating conditions of metallurgy in different countries and regions of the world, which significantly affect main results of the industry and determine the optimal solutions for its further development in the context of these results.It is revealed, that during the period of 1997-2016 there was a rapid increase of the Asian region role by all traditional indicators. Undisputed leadership belonged to China, but India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand significantly increased their presence in the regional and global metal markets, in particular - in terms of consumption and import of steel products, while South Korea and Japan maintained their positions. One of the highest growth rates of the steel industry in the last 20 years was observed in the Middle East and Turkey, whereas in Africa and South America the most favourable period for the development of the industry was in 2000-2007. At the same time, the role of the countries of the EU, the CIS, North America and Oceania have decreased. These regions showed a significant drop in production during 2008-2016, but EU member countries and countries of North America have mostly retained positions of leading consumers and importers of metal products.Geographic structure of metal overproduction was explored and regions with a permanent deficit of steel products (namely - North America, Middle East, and Africa) were identified. In the paper attention was accentuated on the level of steelmaking capacities’ loading, the increase of which, caeteris paribus , could solve the problem of steel products shortage in these regions, which didn’t occur due to the existence of a number of economic, innovative and social factors.It is defined that Ukraine's position on the world stage as the leading metal producer and exporter in the 2008-2016 significantly worsened on the background of rather restrained expectations, regarding the growth of demand for metal on the world market; increasing role of Asia and the Middle East, which have traditionally been the main markets for Ukrainian steelmakers; and military operation in the Donbas, which led to the loss of part of the steelmaking capacities. The situation is exacerbated by the catastrophically low level of steel products consumption in the domestic market, resulting in a continuous metal overproduction and dependence on foreign economic conditions in the face of increased competition between industry leaders due to the growing concentration of steel production.



steel industry, geographical structure, regional development, production, consumption, steelmaking capacity, metal surplus, exports, imports

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Nikiforova, V.A. (2018). World steel industry: current challenges and development trends (analytical overview). Econ. promisl., 1 (81), рр. 86-114 [in Ukrainian]. doi:

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