World crude steel production will show an increase of almost 10 percent in 2006 year on year. In 2007 a further 5.4 percent growth rate is anticipated. The past seven years of this millennium have been the most productive in the history of the steel industry – rising by more than 450 million tonnes over the period. This equates to 57 percent growth in output over the figure recorded in 1999.
MEPS is now forecasting world wide crude steel making in 2007 at in excess of 1.3 billion tonnes (1307 million tonnes). The oxygen/blast furnace process will continue to lift its share of manufacturing – rising by 11 percent in 2006 and almost 7 percent in 2007 to 873 and 932.5 million tonnes, respectively. We predict substantial growth in the supply of direct reduced iron in 2007 as demand continues to expand.
In 2006, most steel producing nations benefitted from the surge in consumption. Those in Asia, however, took the lion’s share, with 75 percent of the increase. This figure is expected to rise to around 90 percent in 2007.
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