The global crude steel market is estimated to grow rapidly over the forecast period. Crude steel is the first product obtained post solidification of liquid steel. It can also be defined as the ingot products obtained in conventional mills and semi-finished products in continuously casting facility and modern mills. The top crude steel-producing countries are China, Japan, India, and U.S. Growing demand for steel products in the major end-use sectors including construction, automotive, and consumer goods is expected to propel the market growth. The crude steel continued its production momentum in 2017 while registering a growth of nearly 5.2% as per the study published by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2018.
The production growth is supported by the expanding economies of the Asia region, specifically India and China. China continued its global dominance in terms of production and consumption. It accounts for nearly half of the global crude steel demand. On the basis of process, the crude steel market can be segmented into Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF), electric arc furnace, and others. The BOF process is expected to lead the global crude steel industry. The share of BOF in crude steel manufacturing has observed significant growth of nearly 37% from 1970 to 2014, as per the data published by OECD in 2018. On the basis of product, the market is segmented into construction, automotive, machinery, consumer goods, and others.
The construction and automotive sectors are expected to be the dominant segments, in terms of demand, over the forecast period. Demand for crude steel is largely attributed to growing population and consequent need for non-residential and residential constructions. The construction sector in India is expected to expand at a strong CAGR owing to increasing Foreign Directed Investment (FDI). As per the Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) statistics of 2017, the construction industry in India received nearly USD 24 billion from 2000 to 2017. On the basis of geographic regions, the crude steel market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa.
Asia Pacific is the largest regional market. The industry has observed favorable growth in countries, such as India, China, and South Korea in 2017. The market growth in Japan was mainly driven by the rise in civil engineering activities coupled with high demand from the automotive and machinery sectors. The Middle East region also witnessed high demand in 2017. The growth is largely driven by countries, such as Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The modernization of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia is expected to be a key factor responsible for the demand growth in the coming years. However, the crude steel demand in the Middle East is highly influenced by geopolitical tensions, oil prices, and exchange rate fluctuations.
These factors are expected to restrain the market growth over the forecast period. In North America, the U.S. observed significant growth of nearly 2%, in terms of steel consumption in the first four months of 2017, as per the study published by OECD in 2018. This growth was attributed to increased government investments and incentives offered for private organizations. Mexico also witnessed sturdy growth in 2017. High product demand in Mexico was credited to the automotive sector, which registered a production growth of nearly 13%, as per the data published by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) in 2018.
Major companies in the global crude steel market are ArcelorMittal S.A., China Baowu Steel Group Corp., Ltd., HBIS Group, POSCO, Shagang Group, JFE Steel, and Tata Steel. Most of these companies are adopting strategies like mergers and acquisitions, and production capacity expansion to gain a competitive advantage over others. In addition, they are also focusing on R&D to introduce innovative steel-making technologies that can reduce carbon dioxide emission, thus potentially revolutionizing the market.
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