Industry and globalisation



The OECD Steel Committee provides a unique forum for governments to come together to address the evolving challenges facing the steel industry, and identify political solutions to encourage open and transparent markets for steel. By fostering a global environment in which steel producers compete under fair conditions, the OECD contributes to a more viable and sustainable steel industry, so that steel continues to contribute to improved economic prosperity around the world.

The work of the OECD Steel Committee in the last two years has covered areas such as:

» steel market developments;

» industry viability and competitiveness;

» trade policies, including non-tariff measures and export restrictions on raw materials;

» steelmaking raw material markets, which are  receiving  increasing  attention  by governments  and industry alike given the sector depends heavily on a range of raw materials for its production;

» global excess capacity, given its growing magnitude and the impacts it is having on the industry’s economic viability. Governments are interested in learning the causes of excess capacity, particularly the role of government interventions in creating or sustaining excess capacity, as well as policies aimed at easing the situation;

» environmental performance, and particularly the contribution of energy efficiency technologies as well as developments in breakthrough technologies to address climate change.


Data and resources

Capacity Developments in the World Steel Industry
July 2017 - Provides an overview of the latest capacity developments.

Evaluating the financial health of the steel industry
January 2016 – Analyses the recent financial performance of the steel industry

Steel Market Developments
January 2016 – The Steel Market Developments working paper series provides up-to-date information on global and regional steel markets.

Greening Steel: Innovation for climate change mitigation in the steel sector
December 2015 – Provides an overview environmental innovations that relate to steel

Energy efficiency in the steel sector: Why it works well, but not always
October 2015 – A survey of steel companies conducted in 2015 to investigate the incentives and disincentives to investing in energy efficiency.

The Structure of Steel Exports: Changes in Specialisation and the Role of Innovation
July 2015 – Examines the export structure of the ten largest steelmaking economies, how their patterns of specialisation have changed since 2004, and the role of innovation in determining their export structure.

Steelmaking Capacity Data
March 2015 - The OECD steelmaking capacity portal provides access to a range of data and analyses on global capacity developments.

Excess Capacity in the Global Steel Industry and the Implications of New Investment Projects
February 2015 – Examines new investments projects in the steel sector to help governments and industry better understand the extent to which global steelmaking excess capacity may evolve in the future.

An Introduction to Energy Management Systems: Energy Savings and Increased Industrial Productivity for the Iron and Steel Sector
February 2015 – Overviews the benefits of energy management systems, explores barriers to their implementation, and how they can be supported and promoted by governments.

Excess Capacity in the Global Steel Industry: The Current Situation and Ways Forward
January 2015 – Provides a brief overview of the global excess capacity situation, its effects and ways forward to address the challenge. 

Excess capacity 

Excess capacity is one of the main challenges facing the global steel sector today.


A policy paper published in February 2015 on excess capacity and the implications of new investment projects shows that global steelmaking capacity will nevertheless continue to expand. The paper provides extensive information on crude steelmaking projects that have come on stream very recently as well as announcements of projects that are planned in the period until 2017. The underlying data on investment projects can be found in the newly launched capacity portal.


A short overview of the current global excess capacity situation and associated policy challenges discussed recently by the OECD Steel Committee was released in January 2015.


World crude steel capacity and demand

Notes: The Secretariat assumes demand growth of 2% in 2014 and 2015. These are the most recent rates of growth forecast by the World Steel Association for world apparent steel use (October 2014 Short Range Outlook).

Source: OECD (for capacity) and the World Steel Association (for demand).


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