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MPT INTERNATIONAL IISI : 2008 to become another strong year for the steel industry

This year ends in a very healthy economic climate for the steel industry. The worldwide increase in steel consumption by about 6,8% to almost 1.2 billion by the end of this year clearly exceeds the production figures forecast a year ago.Although the growth rate is somewhat lower than last year (+8.8% in 2006), the current, more moderate rate provides a higher degree of sustainability. Dr Karl-Ulrich Kholer, Executive Board Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, recently characterized the situation as follows : « The steel boom has levelled off at a high mark  » – The outlook for the next year remains optimistic. According to the forecasts by the international Iron & Steel Institute the current trend will continue and the NAFTA region is also likely to take its share again.If these forecasts materialize, all major resgion of the world will once again experience an upswing in their steel industries.The highest growth rates ares again forecast for China, India, Brazil and Russia.The steel industry is obviously being sustained by the prospering world economy.Even the hike in raw material and energy prices does not seem to be affecting the boom.Sudden oil prices rises – as the world is witnessing at the moment – regularly prompts those sceptics who see the end of the healthy economic development looming to raise their voices.But it is often forgotten that in the second half of 2006 the oil prince has slumped and that what we are experiencing now is the oil price picking up – at a breathtaking speed though – where it had stopped a year ago.In this context the oil price is not so much an influencing factor but an indicator for the economic activity.

Auteur / Editeur : Metallurgical Plant and Technology

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