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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Desy, D. H.
Iron and steel,   pp. 465-484 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 465

Iron and Steel 
By D. H. Desy1 
 In 1978-79, a world oversupply of steel prevailed, contributing to the continuation
of the generally depressed condition of the world steel industry. Several
countries of the European Communities (EC) restructured their steel industries
with government aid, and the EC anticrisis plan was continued. Expansion
of the steel industry in developing countries continued at a slower rate
than previously planned. China mainland announced major expansion plans for
its steel industry. 
 The United States produced 137.0 million 
tons2 of raw steel in 1978, an improvement over 1977 production, but 9% less
than the record 150.8 million tons produced in 1973. In 1979, raw steel production
fell slightly below that of 1978. 
 Domestic prices increased by an average of about 15% in 1978 and 11% in
1979. Imports of major iron and steel products were at a record high of 22.0
million tons in 1978, but dropped to 18.4 million tons in 
1979. Exports remained at about 3 million tons. 
Table 1.—Salient iron and steel statistics 
(Thousand shorttons, unless otherwise stated) 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States: 
Pig iron: 
 Production                         
 Shipments                          
 Annualaveragecompositeprice,perton 
 Exports                            
 Importsforconsumption                
Steel:' 
 Production of raw steel: 
Carbon                           
Stainless                         
Allotheralloy                      
 Total                           
 Capability utilization (percent)2          Net shipments of steel 
 millproducts                        Finished steel annual average composite
price, 
 centsperpound                        
Exports of major iron and steel products'       
 Imports of major iron and steel products'      World production: 
 Pigiron                               
Raw steel (ingots and castings)  
79,721 
79,240 
$187.07 
 60 
 478 
86,848 
86,693 
$187.67 
 58 
 415 
81,494 
82,392 
$189.57 
 51 
 373 
87,690 
88,543 
$198.31 
 51 
 655 
86,975 
87,781 
$203.00 
 105 
 476 
100,360 
 1,111 
15,171 
112,008 
 1,684 
14,308 
108,130 
 1,862 
15,341 
116,916 
 1,954 
18,161 
116,226 
 2,107 
18,008 
116,642 
 76.2 
79,957 
13.102 
 3,975 
12,488 
528,298 
710,106 
128,000 
 80.9 
 89,447 
 14.213 
 3,671 
 15,038 
r541,177 r742,061 
125,333 
 78.4 
 91,147 
 15.577 
 3,098 
 19,930 
r537,698 
r739,163 
137,031 
 86.8 
 97,935 
 17.957 
 3,274 
 22,027 
"558,352 
"783,415 
136,341 
 87.8 
100,262 
 19.984 
 3,403 
 18,428 
e581696 e813,927 
 ~E tanate. "Prallmh~~. TReVised 
 ' American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). 
 2Defined by AISI as the capability to produce raw steel for a full order
book based on the current availability of raw materials, fuels, and supplies,
and of the industry's coke, iron, steelmaking, rolling and finishing facilities,
recognizing current environmental and safety regulations. 
 3U.S. Bureau of the Census. Figures for 1978 and 1979 not strictly comparable
to those of previous years. 
 Legislation and Government Pro- were instituted in mid-1976 were continued
grams.—Import quotas on specialty steel through 1979, and were
to be
eliminated by (stainless steel and alloy tool steels) which February 13,
1980. In 1978, as part of a 
465 


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