Growth In Seaborne Iron Ore Trade Forecast In New Report

World steel output fell by 2 percent in 1990 and is expected to contract again in 1991 as the steel industries of Europe and the USA are hit by recession and economic restructuring.

However, production is buoyant in Japan and other major Asian steel centers such as South Korea and Taiwan, thereby limiting any downturn in seaborne trade in raw materials. And as the world economy enters a new growth phase in 1992, steel industry activity should intensify worldwide, with growth in steel output, raw material demand and trade.

Expected stagnation of iron ore imports in the EC-12 and Japanese markets over the period to 1996 will be more than compensated for by requirements from the newly industrialized countries (or NICs), as well as a reorientation of East European imports in favor of Western suppliers.

With economic recovery next year and the commissioning of new steel-making capacity in the NICs and developing countries, 1992 is expected to herald the start of another period of steady growth in seaborne iron ore trade.

By 1996, the volume of iron ore in seaborne trade is expected to reach 373 million tons. In the past three years, seaborne coking coal trade has stabilized at around 160 million tons per annum. However, growth is expected over the next five years with shipments climbing to 170 million tons in 1996.

Future needs for iron ore and coking coal are reviewed, region-byregion, against the background of longer-term trends in the pattern of steel production. Each country's import requirements in the period to 1996 are forecast by reference to the projected output of blast furnace pig iron production, iron ore feedstock requirements, coke demand and the likely indigenous supply (if any) of these materials. The 100- page report, "Global Prospects for Iron Ore and Coking Coal," from Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd., then goes on to highlight prospective changes in the volume and direction of international seaborne trade through to 1996, quantifying tonnage shipments and commenting on supply issues and problems.

The role of transport costs in determining the FOB netback received by the exporter is also considered by comparing actual ship costs on selected routes with market prices.

Other stories from November 1991 issue


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