China steels the show

OECD Observer

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World steel production has grown at just under 2% per year–more than twice the rate of growth for the OECD as a whole–from 1990 to 2003. Experience within the OECD has been mixed with falling production in several countries, especially the Czech Republic, Poland and the UK, and strong growth in Korea, Mexico and Turkey and, from a low base, in Austria and Finland.

Among the non-OECD countries, steel production in China has been growing at nearly 10% per year, at 6% in India and over 3% in Brazil. In Ukraine, however, steel production has fallen over the period and in Russia the annual growth has been less than 0.5%. By the end of 2003, China had become by far the largest steel producer. Its production in 2003 of just under 200 million tonnes was nearly twice that of the second country, Japan. The next largest producers were Korea, Germany and the US.

According to the OECD Factbook 2005, in 1990, while the EU produced just over 132 million tonnes of steel compared to 144 million tonnes in 2003, over the same period China went from 52.3 million tonnes to 196.7 million tonnes, which is almost a quarter of the total world production of 844.4 million tonnes.

©OECD Observer No 250, July 2005

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