As stated in UNCTAD 2005, steel is an alloy of iron and carbon contains less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese along with some small amounts of silicon, phosphorous, sulfur and oxygen. Steel can be created via two basic routes: from raw materials consisting of iron ore, limestone and coke by the blast furnace or basic oxygen furnace route (better known as the integrated route) or from scrap via the electric arc furnace (EAF) method. In 2004, 63% of crude steel was produced by the integrated route and 33.8% by the EAF method, and 3.2% by the old open hearth technology. Crude steel is used to produce semi- finished or finished products which are used for internal consumption as inputs for further processing or for sale. Half- finished products are steel shapes like blooms, billets or slabs that are later rolled into finished products such as beams, bars or sheets. Finished products are subdivided into two basic types, the flat and the long products. Moreover, the last 20 years have witnessed the development of 75% of the approximately 3, 500 different grades of steel. Alloyed steels contain small portions of alloying elements such as chromium, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, silicon, tungsten or vanadium. Steel is used in applications that require high strength or corrosion resistance. The most important of these is stainless steel, which contains mainly chromium and nickel in varying proportions. Alloyed steels are responsible for a small portion of all finished steel products and is used in developed countries. Steel production can been beneficial from a environmental point of view. Steel is recyclable and its production requires small amounts of energy, in comparison to aluminum. Lightweight steel constructions in automobiles and rail vehicles also help to save energy and resources.
[...] Producers of steel Table 1 Source: worldsteel 2009 Table 2 Source: worldsteel 2009 It is clear that since the merging of Mittal steel with Acrelor in 2006 (arcelormittal 2009 ) AcrelorMittal has dominated the production of steel worldwide with Nippon steel ranking 2nd from 2006 to 2008. As we can see the difference between the 1st and the 2nd throughout these years has been enormous with AcrelorMittal scoring production amounts of through the years respectively whereas Nippon steel has had production of for the years respectively (all numbers in million metric tons crude steel). [...]
[...] If we were to exclude China then the global output in 2008 would fell From January to October 2009 there was a global output of 982 million tons, around 14% down from the same period in 2008. Chinese production was up 10% to 472 million tonnes and was responsible for the 48% of the global total, with global production not including China down 28%. World production in October was 112 million tonnes and was the highest since August 2008. Additionally, Indian production was up over the first ten months of the year which means that it had overtaken South Korea and USA in the steelmaking stakes. [...]
[...] China is leading the recovery of the market as well as the demand for steel, second follows EU-27 but in this case the difference is of great importance as the demand for steel in the case of China is twice or three times as much as in the EU-27. One of the main factors for the decline in demand for steel has been the automotive industry which due to the crisis has had a significant decline in production as well as the mechanical engineering industry. [...]
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