Steel: Price and Policy Issues [Updated October 31, 2007]   [open pdf - 327KB]

From the Summary: "The rapid growth of steel production and demand in China is widely considered as a major cause of continued high steel prices and prices of steelmaking inputs. Steel companies have achieved much greater pricing power, in part through an ongoing consolidation of the industry. High prices persist, despite the revocation in 2003 of President Bush's broad safeguard order on imports. U.S. steel production in 2006 was 108 million tons. The integrated side of the industry continues to lose share domestically to the minimills. Imports rebounded in 2006 to reach the highest tonnage level ever, though they declined in 2007. Input prices, especially ferrous scrap and iron ore, remain high, meaning higher costs, which have been largely passed along to industrial consumers. China now produces 40% of the world's steel and is the world's largest steelmaker and steel consumer. This contributed to a large global increase in demand for both steel and steelmaking inputs. China has become a large net exporter as well. In 2006, its steel exports to the U.S. market more than doubled, and it became the second-largest import source. […] Internationally, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has abandoned the effort to achieve an international agreement to ban subsidies for steel mills. In April 2006 the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body ruled against the 'zeroing' methodology used by the U.S. Commerce Department in calculating dumping margins."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32333
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