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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Desy, D. H.
Iron and steel,   pp. 507-527 ff. PDF (2.2 MB)


Page 509

IRON AND STEEL 
509 
consumed 0.5 million tons of fluorspar, 1.2 Oxygen consumption in steelmaking
totaled 
million tons of limestone, 7.3 million tons of 190.3 billion cubic feet,
compared with 196.3 
lime, and 1.1 million tons of other fluxes. billion cubic feet in 1976. 
CONSUMPTION OF PIG IRON 
Total pig iron consumed for all purposes in 1977 was 82.0 million tons. Of
the 77.1 million tons used in steelmaking, basic oxygen furnaces consumed
63.9 million tons; open hearth furnaces, 12.5 million 
tons; and electric furnaces, 0.7 million tons. Iron foundries and miscellaneous
users consumed 1.3 million tons, and 3.0 million tons was used in making
direct castings, primarily ingot molds and stools. 
PRICES 
Prices of tin-mill products were raised 5% effective March 13. Carbon and
alloy tool steel prices were increased an average of 8% on April 1, flat-rolled
stainless steel prices increased 8% on May 9, and highspeed tool steel prices
went up 8% to 12% on June 15. A general price rise of 6% on most carbon steel
products became effective on June 19. Welded mechanical tubing prices were
raised 7% on July 4, and oilcountry tubular products went up 7% in price
on August 1. On September 4, prices of tin-mill products rose 7% and prices
of structural shapes rose 6%. 
In August, stainless steel billet prices were raised 4% to 8%, and effective
October 
3, prompted by increases in the price of molybdenum, price of most molybdenumbearing
grades of stainless steel were raised 6% to 7%. In November, some producers
lowered prices on most grades of flat-rolled stainless steel to levels prevailing
in January. 
The composite price for pig iron, according to Iron Age magazine, rose from
$187.67 to $191.75 per ton on August 8. The Iron Age finished steel composite
price rose from 15.146 cents per pound in January to 15.941 cents per pound
in July and 16.043 cents per pound in September, an average increase of 6%
for the year. 
FOREIGN TRADE 
 Exports of major iron and steel products amounted to 3.1 million tons in
1977, 16% less than in 1976. The value of the exports totaled $2.28 billion,
compared with imports valued at $5.94 billion, resulting in an unfavorable
balance of trade in iron and steel products of $3.65 billion. Imports of
major iron and steel products totaled 19.9 million tons, 33% above 1976 imports.
The value of these imports was 29% above the 1976 value. Imports from Western
Europe increased sharply over those in 1976, while imports from Japan remained
about the same. 
 Imported steel was reportedly sold in the United States at prices below
those of domestic steel, prompting several major U.S. steel producers to
file dumping charges 
against Japanese and European producers. The Treasury Department made a preliminary
determination that five Japanese steel companies had sold carbon steel plate
on the west coast at prices substantially below production costs. Importers
were required to post a bond equivalent to a 32% tariff until a final determination
was made. 
 As part of a comprehensive program for the steel industry, proposed by an
interagency task force, a system of trigger prices on imported steel was
devised, which was intended to replace the former antidumping procedure in
most cases. This system was to become effective early in 1978. Import quotas
on specialty steel (stainless and alloy tool steel), which were instituted
in mid1976, were continued through 1977. 
WORLD REVIEW 
NORTH AMERICA 
Canada.—The Canadian iron and steel industry showed general improvement
in 1977 compared with its performance in 
1976. Raw steel production increased 2.3% to 15.0 million tons, and net shipments
of rolled steel products increased 5.3% to 11.4 million tons, but pig iron
production dodined slightly to 10.6 million tons. Imports 


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