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Global Steel Outlook 2017 – How will Trumps reign affect the UK?

Much of speculation around steel output this year has focused around the presidency of Trump, with manufacturing, steel and oil being at the forefront of his plans to “make America great again.” In the first year of Trump’s reign the US steel production is set to grow by 4.4 % reduction [1], with a Trumps impact on steel outputin imports as America strategizes to source and produce more of its own materials, investing in primary and secondary industry.

With America becoming more insular, perspective has turned back to the rest of the world, and what the biggest steel producers are importing and exporting in 2017.

China

The largest producer of steel will continue to be China, stepping up production after a comparably modest rise in 2016, limited by environmental and market regulations. Consumption however will be much larger, with China using 87 % of total production (825 million metric tonnes[2]). This domestic use is reliant on the real estate, public infrastructure and construction industry, which shows no sign in declining over the next few years. Business partnerships with Chinese companies who aim to meet market and steel regulations are ideal for businesses looking to cash in on China’s position.

Japan

Tokyo steel Takamatsu WorksJapanese output declined slightly last year, however should stabilise in 2017 with a 2.7% increase this January in comparison to last.[3] With reported price increases in iron ore, aluminium and copper 2017 production is expected to grow healthily. Continuous investment in technology and success in the automotive industry creates ample demand for steel domestically.

India

As the third largest producer of steel globally, India reported the largest gain in comparison to other big players, with a whopping 12% increase in production year on year in January. Investment in improving India’s infrastructure and its growing manufacturing presence should ensure that this demand has longevity. India’s large appetite for European Sourced material has potential to be met by businesses willing to research into the niche and hard to find grades requested by this country.

UK Steel Output 2017

Whilst increasing steel price forecasts are being reported worldwide, very little news has surfaced this year on the steel market within the UK. With very little insight into coming post Brexit trade deals, the current weakening of the pound has affected Britain, with steel prices increasing by around £60- £70 per tonne[4]. As annually the UK reduces its share over the steel market and its influence, future predictions and opportunities fall to looking at neighbouring countries for how to tackle the global market.

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[1] Financial Times – US steel industry expected to return to growth. Dec 2016 

 

[2] CNBC – China will produce more steel in 2017, but they’ll also use most of it themselves. Jan 2017 

 

[3]  Mining.com – Global Steel Production is surging in 2017

 

[4]  –  Made in the Midlands News – UK Steel Price Increases Inevitable Throughout 2017.

 

 

 

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