Industry and globalisation

78th Session of the Steel Committee, Paris, 11-12 May 2015


Steelmaking capacity and related policies

Addressing the excess capacity challenge is a key priority for the Steel Committee and builds upon recent work of the Committee on excess capacity. The OECD was requested to conduct further work on reporting of capacity changes and associated government support as well as identifying government support for individual steel projects. This item initiates this longer-term activity.

Update on Secretariat work related to excess steelmaking capacity

Under this item, the Secretariat provided brief updates on the following areas of ongoing work:

  • Measurement of excess steelmaking capacity;
  • New steelmaking capacity investment projects; and
  • The two-yearly publication Steelmaking Capacity of Non-OECD Economies.

Identifying public support for steel investment projects

It is widely acknowledged that government intervention can play a significant role in creating and sustaining current levels of excess uneconomic capacity. Under this item, the Secretariat presented work in progress aimed at better understanding the support provided by governments to individual steel projects. Building upon the work on new investment projects discussed by the Committee at meetings in June and December 2014, this included an overview and discussion of steelmaking capacity investment projects that may, to some extent, have been benefiting from government support.

  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat on Public Financial Support for New Investments in the Global Steel Industry: Work-in-Progress

Discussion on support measures for capacity expansion or closure

Based on the Secretariat’s research on government support measures for new investment projects, under this item selected governments were invited to report on the nature of support provided for capacity expansions. Members were invited to report on their experiences and lessons learned on capacity closures.

  • Presentation by Ms. Mary Beth Deily, Professor of Economics, Lehigh University, on exit barriers in the steel industry.
  • Presentation by China on capacity developments and recent policies to mitigate excess capacity.
  • Presentation by the European Union on the EU state aid rules and their application to the steel sector.
  • Presentation by Romania on restructuring of the Romanian steel industry.

Economic and steel market developments

 Economic outlook

  • Presentation by the OECD Economics Department on the world economic situation and the latest OECD forecasts for selected economies.

 Global steel market situation

  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat on the current global steel market situation.
  • Presentation by the World Steel Association on its latest Short Range Outlook for apparent steel use in 2015 and 2016.

 Reports by regional steel associations

Regional steel associations were invited to provide brief presentations on market developments in their region.

Strategic policies for the steel industry

Based on presentations made by government participants at recent Steel Committee meetings, the Secretariat had prepared a compendium of long-term strategic policies for the steel industry in selected economies and presented this to the Committee. Several economies that have such initiatives, and which had not yet provided such presentations to the Steel Committee, were invited to inform the Committee about existing policies or policies under consideration.

  • Presentation by Spain on recent year’s performance of the Spanish Steel Industry and the activities and policies implemented lately
  • Presentation by Romania on its policies for the steel industry in the context of European Action Plan for the steel industry
  • Presentation by South Africa on the current dynamics in South Africa's steel industry
  • Presentation by Chinese Taipei on the current situation of the steel-making capacity in Chinese Taipei
  • Presentation by Kazakhstan

Trade policy issues

Under this item, the Committee discussed trade policy issues and delegates were invited to discuss ways of addressing existing trade barriers in the steel industry. The Committee was also updated about work being conducted in the OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate (TAD) that is relevant for steel. The issues covered include:

  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat of an update of trade barriers in the steel industry
  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat on recent work that examines the trade impacts of localisation barriers
  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat on work on trade and investment of state enterprises undertaken during 2013-2014. The report covers the results of a business survey on competition between state and private enterprises, the findings from a database on national practices which may have a bearing on competitive position of state enterprises in international markets, and discussions during the June 2014 OECD workshop on this topic
  • The OECD Secretariat informed the Committee on the latest update of the Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) database
  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat of updated work on trade specialisation patterns in steel with some examples of the importance of innovation to trade

Innovation in the steel sector

Technological advances and innovation play an important role in the steel industry, helping to boost productivity growth through continuous improvements in production processes and the introduction of higher quality and value-added steel products. Technological innovations in the steel sector can also contribute to more efficient use of energy and result in better environmental performance.

Innovation and productivity in the steel sector

  • Presentation by the OECD Secretariat on initial work that examines technological trends, innovation efforts and outcomes, as well as their implications for competitiveness and environmental performance in the steel sector
  • Presentation by voestalpine Group on energy efficiency and R&D
  • Presentation by the Swedish Steel Producers Association on innovation in the Swedish steel sector
  • Presentation by Turkey on recycling and waste management

Update by IEA on energy-related technologies in steel

The International Energy Agency (IEA) updated the Committee on the IEA’s 2015 Energy Technology Perspectives publication with a particular emphasis on the steel sector’s energy and emissions performance, as well as perspectives on future developments.

Energy efficiency practices and technologies

A document that describes preliminary results of the OECD survey on industry experiences with energy efficiency projects was presented to the Committee. Industry representatives complemented this discussion by sharing their experiences with energy efficiency.

  • Presentation by Mr. Hannes Mac Nulty, Consultant, on preliminary results of the OECD survey on energy efficiency in the steel sector
  • Presentation by Ms. Graziella Siciliano, US Department of Energy, on tools available to the steel industry to improve energy efficiency
  • Presentation by UNIDO on industrial energy efficiency activities in the steel industry

Chairman's Statement 


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