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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Brantley, F. E.
Iron and steel,   pp. 641-666 PDF (2.9 MB)


Page 641

  641Iron and Steel 
By F. E. Brantley1 
 The iron and steel industry continued to recover during the first part of
the year from its poor performance in 1971. Except for a brief midseason
slump, this momentum was maintained for the remainder of the year and total
raw steel 2 production was up 10.6% over that of 1971. Steel mill shipments
increased almost 5 million tons, but were 2 million tons short of the record
set in 1969. Returns on sales and investment again were among the lowest
for any industry, and it was apparent that a number of problems needed to
be resolved if this segment of the Nation's economy is to maintain a position
of world leadership. The most pressing were as follows: Shortage of available
capital for installation of more efficient steelmaking equipment and for
expansion, limiting the increasing unports, rebuilding of export markets,
pollution controls, rising costs of raw materials (particularly ferrous scrap),
and the threat of energy shortages. 
 Extensions of voluntary steel import re 
straints were agreed to by Japan and the European Community (E~~ countries.
However, a number of other countries~ markedly increased shipments into the
United States. Apparent consumption of steel products, adjusted for imports
and exports, was up 4%. 
 Increased steel production was reported for all major producing countries
of the world, and accompanied a general improvement in the world's economic
situation. Total world raw steel production increased by 8 percent to 692
million short tons, and the U.S.S.R. increased its lead as the world's largest
producer at 189 million tons. Japan was in third place, after the United
States, with 107 million tons.. Spain's production reached 10 million tons,
a 23% increase over 1971 output. 
 1 Physical scientist, Division of Ferrous Metals, Assistant Directorate—Mineral
Supply. 
 2 The term raw steel, as used by the American Iron and Steel Institute,
includes ingois, steel castings, and continuously cast steel. It corresponds
to the term crude steel as used by the United Nations. 
Table l.—Salicnt iron and steel statistics 
(Thousand short tons) 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
19'12 
United States: 
Pig iron: 
 Production                          
 Shipments                          
 Exports                            
 Imports for consumption            Steel: 1 
88,767 
89,085 
 9 
786 
95,003 
95,472 
 44 
405 
91,293 
91,272 
310 
249 
81,382 
81,332 
 34 
306 
88,864 
89,048 
 15 
637 
Production of raw steel: 
Carbon                      
Stainless                     
All other alloy                 
116,269 
1,432 
13,761 
124,832 
1,569 
14,861 
117,411 
1,279 
12,824 
107,007 
1,263 
12,173 
117,698 
1,564 
13,979 
 Total                     Index1                          
131,462 
103.1 
141,262 
111.0 
131,514 
103.4 
120,443 
94.7 
133,241 
104.5 
Total shipments of steel mill products    
 Exports of major iron and steel products - 
 Imports of major iron and steel products ~_ World production: 
Pig iron                            
Raw steel (ingots and castings)            
91,856 
2,673 
18,346 
418,000 
584,000 
93,877 
5,788 
14,528 
453,000 
633,000 
90,798 
7,657 
13,861 
475,000 
655,000 
87,038 
3,526 
18,744 
474,000 
640,000 
91,805 
3,546 
18,158 
499,000 
692,000 
1American Iron and Steel Institute. Includes ingots, continuous cast steel,
and all other cast forms. 
2Based on average production in 1967 as 100. 
Data not comparable for all years. 


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