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The Economist | Steel: An inferno of unprofitability

The Economist

Steel
An inferno of unprofitability
The world’s overcapacity in steelmaking is getting worse, and profits are evaporating

THE importance of steel is in no doubt. It is the material from which much of the modern world is made, from skyscrapers to washing machines. Governments everywhere regard a strong steelmaking business as a sign of economic virility, and thus hover anxiously over their domestic producers. A French minister recently threatened to nationalise ArcelorMittal’s Florange plant if it pursued plans to cut jobs and close two blast furnaces. Despite a weak world economy, global production of steel rose by 1.2% last year to a record 1.55 billion tonnes.

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