ECONOMICS AND MARKETS
RESOURCE FORECASTING TECHNOLOGY
Ya. M. Shchelokov
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 8, pp. 57 – 61, August, 2009.
Original article submitted May 6, 2009.
Methods are considered for forecasting the demand for raw materials by reference to ferrous metals. The basis
is the law of increasing resource performance: the provision of reduction in energy consumption in producing
any resource. The task requires consideration also for refractory production.
Keywords: forecasting, demand, energy consumption, energy analysis, refractories.
The global financial crisis has emphasized the problem
of essential change in the country’s economy. Under these
conditions, the investment capacities of most branches of
business are directly related to radical improvement in re-
source performance. That scenario is described in detail in
the draft for long-term social and economic development of
the Russian Federation in the period up to 2020 . Prob-
lems in raising resource performance are important also for
the refractories industry.
The task is complicated, and the decisive parameter is
the demand for the corresponding resource. At present, there
are numerous methods for forecasting demand, but in my
view resource performance is not adequately considered.
This can be demonstrated most clearly on the technology for
demand forecasting for metals.
In spite of the growing variety of constructional and
building materials, preference as regards scales of use re
mains with metals. The following are the main reasons for
this: the first is that metals have the best relation between
strength and plasticity; the second is that the costs of manu
facture (as regards energy consumption) for parts of ma
chines and other metal items are primarily dependent on the
energy used in making the corresponding material. As re
gards the first cause, the optimal quality of metals and alloys
has determined their basic part in constructional materials.
As regards technological energy consumption, there is a
large data volume (Table 1)  that includes the costs of the
There is a spread in the data on mild steel. For example,
at the Kimitsu Works company in Japan, that parameter is
22.1 GJ/ton (5.3 Gcal/ton), while at the Magnitogorsk Metal
lurgical Corporation in 2000 it was practically 7 Gcal/ton .
At most Russian plants, the energy consumption in making
steel is 10 Gcal/ton or more.
Nevertheless, as regards strength and energy consump-
tion, preference is given to steel, or more precisely, ferrous
metals. It is quite likely that the above basic properties to
some extent have governed the increasing demand for steel
during the two previous decades. At the end of the 20th cen-
tury, the production of steel attained 800 million tons a year,
while by 2007 the parameter was estimated as 1.2 billion
tons a year. For metallurgists and related workers, this is a
guarantee of a demand for their products while maintaining
the increase in prices. This boom in the consumption of
rolled steel is related to the rise in industrial potential in our
country . However, this boom was evidently related to
transfer of Russia to a different economic coordinate system,
in which there are no forms of limits, funds, and other fea
tures of a planned economy. Consequently, in construction
for example there has been extensive replacement of con
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 50, No. 4, 2009
1083-4877/09/5004-0306 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Novator Experimental Production Company, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
TABLE 1. Energy Contents in the Production of Building Materials
(After Lyakishev) 
Energy consumption E
production of the material
Mild steel 450 (107) 5 – 9
Corrosion-resistant steel 860 4 – 12
Aluminum and its alloys 780 16 – 20
Magnesium and its alloys 720 18 – 21
Titanium and its alloys 2540 18 – 36
Brass 860 22 – 29
Carbon plastics 6000 57
is the compressive strength.