Companies in this industry engage in converting pig iron to steel, making steel, and manufacturing steel shapes, pipes, and tubes. Major companies include Nucor and United States Steel (both of the US), as well as ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg); China Baowu Steel Group and HBIS Group (both of China); JFE and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (both of Japan), POSCO (South Korea), Tata Steel (India), and ThyssenKrupp (Germany).
Demand comes largely from manufacturers of durable goods such as motor vehicles, machinery, containers, and construction steel. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, because most products are commodities sold based on price. Big companies enjoy significant economies of scale in production. Accordingly, most producers of secondary products buy raw metal from the large producers. Small companies can compete by serving regional markets or producing specialty products. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate 95% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include steel and steel shapes (bar, plate, rod, sheet, strip, and wire), as well as steel pipe and tube. Other activities include reduction of iron ore, manufacturing pig iron, making steel from pig iron, and manufacturing ferroalloys (steel alloys employing other elements including silicon, manganese, chromium, tungsten, titanium, and molybdenum).