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Posts Tagged ‘raw materials’

World Steel Association: World crude steel output increases by 15% in 2010

January 27, 2011 Comments off

“World crude steel production reached 1,414 million metric tons (mmt) for the year of 2010. This is an increase of 15% compared to 2009 and is a new record for global crude steel production. All the major steel-producing countries and regions showed double-digit growth in 2010. The EU and North America had higher growth rates due to the lower base effect from 2009 while Asia and the CIS recorded relatively lower growth.

Annual production for Asia was 881.2 mmt of crude steel in 2010, an increase of 11.8% compared to 2009. Its share of world steel production increased to 65.5% in 2010 from 63.5% in 2009. China’s crude steel production in 2010 reached 626.7 mmt, an increase of 9.3% on 2009. China’s share of world crude steel production declined from 46.7% in 2009 to 44.3% in 2010.”

Source: World Steel Association, January 21 2011

Observations:

  • Annual steel production has increased to a new record, fully recovering from the reduced production in 2009. This reduction was fully caused by production outside China. Chinese production has increased every single year for the past decade.
  • The new iron ore pricing system leads to complaints about higher raw materials costs with many steelmakers (current spot price at $175/tonne). The recent spike in coal costs (currently up to $350/tonne) further reduces the margins of the steel makers. American producers are posting significant losses.

Implications:

  • Focus of the industry is on the new tax policies to be introduced in China to cool down the economy. Increased consumer prices of steel might have a significant impact on the growth rate of the Chinese industry, starting in the second half of 2011.
  • Across the world the increased prices of raw materials will be passed on to customers, as the mining and transportation costs are not likely to return to the levels of early 2009 with global supply conditions.

©2011 | Wilfred Visser | thebusinessofmining.com

EU to step up raw materials diplomacy

June 18, 2010 Comments off

European Union Raw Materials Initiative“An EU expert group has identified 14 raw materials seen as “critical” for EU high-tech and eco-industries and suggested that the European Union’s global diplomacy should be geared up to ensure that companies gain easier access to them in future.

‘It is our aim to make sure that Europe’s industry will be able to continue to play a leading role in new technologies and innovation and we have to ensure that we have the necessary elements to do so,’ said Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, presenting the group’s final report on 17 June. …

To guarantee that industry can access these essential raw materials, ‘we need fair play on external markets,’ said Tajani. Encouraging supply from EU sources, improving resource efficiency and increasing efforts to recycle were also highlighted in the report as ways forward.”

Source: Euractiv, June 18 2010

European Union Report: Raw Materials Initiative

Observations:

  • The European Union has realized 30 million jobs in Europe directly depend on availability of mineral resources.
  • Antimony, beryllium, cobalt, fluorspar, gallium, germanium, graphite, indium, magnesium, niobium, PGMs (Platinum Group Metals), rare earths, tantalum and tungsten are deemed to be critical for the industry in Europe. Most of them are used especially in the high tech industry.
  • The report concludes that the EU should respond to the threat of lack of supply by ensuring access to raw materials from international markets under the same conditions as other industrial competitors; setting the right framework conditions within the EU in order to foster sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources; and boosting overall resource efficiency and promoting recycling to reduce the EU’s consumption of primary raw materials and decrease the relative import dependence.

Implications:

  • European deposits of the critical raw materials are low, so the fostering of sustainable supply will not affect many companies (although some minor producers in Eastern Europe might benefit).
  • The key result of the study will be that the European Union will support manufacturers in closing long term deals with major producers of critical materials. The EU will follow China, Russia and Japan in negotiating favourable contracts, most likely promising trade benefits or even infrastructure investments in return. The official term for these actions is “Joint Dialogue”.

©2010 – thebusinessofmining.com