PRODUCTION AND EQUIPMENT
STEELMAKING. USE OF REFRACTORY MATERIALS.
CORRECTION OF TRENDS. PREDICTIONS
L. M. Aksel’rod
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 3, pp. 117 – 130, March, 2012.
Original article submitted February 10, 2012.
An analysis of the development in 2011 of ferrous metallurgy, the principal consumer of refractory materials,
together with predictions for the development of metallurgy and the refractory industry in the Community of
Independent States (CIS) in the next few years are presented. Different trends and aspects of the development
of the refractories industry in CIS as a constituent element of the world market for the production and con
sumption of refractory materials are analyzed.
Keywords: production of refractories, steel production, total cost of ownership (TCO), outsourcing, vertical
Up to 70% of all refractory materials is consumed in fer-
rous metallurgy (Fig. 1), hence we may say that the eco-
nomic health of producers of refractory materials is founded
on the advances achieved by metallurgists. At the same time,
metallurgy as a whole and the refractories branch of industry
in particular in the Community of Independent States (CIS)
have become full-fledged elements of a worldwide process.
It is precisely for this reason that, in evaluating the future of
the refractories materials of the CIS, refractories manufactur
ers must constantly analyze different trends in CIS against
the background of corresponding worldwide processes.
Worldwide steel production is growing (if we consider the
crisis from late 2008 through 2009 as a brief episode) and in
2011 (Fig. 2) reached 1,482 million t (according to other
data, 1,527 million t).
There were two processes that occurred in 2011 which
were responsible for the external economic health of ferrous
metallurgy in 2011. First, from May, 2011 on, a gradual
slowdown in the rates of growth in the worldwide production
of steel, principally as a consequence of a slowdown in the
growth in steel production in China (steel production in
2010, 655 million t; prediction for 2011, 688 million t; and
for 2012, 728 million t; an increase in 2011 production of
9.7% is anticipated, while in 2012, only 5.8%) and a slow
down in the growth of steel demand in many regions of the
world. Whether the slowdown in steel production in China
will be a long-term process will depend largely on the inter-
nal policies of the Chinese government in the area of con-
struction, machine building, etc. The Chinese Ministry of In-
formation Technologies predicts steel demand in China will
reach 750 million t by 2015; according to the data of another
source (October, 2011 data), the predicted demand for steel
in 2011 and 2012 will amount to 655 and 685 million t, re
spectively, and by 2020 will reach 770 – 820 million t; there
after, steel demand will gradually slow down together with a
slowdown in processes of urbanization and industrialization.
In Europe a drop in steel production in the fourth quarter
of 2011 following positive results for the first three quarters
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 53, No. 2, July, 2012
1083-4877/12/05302-0082 © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
OOO Group Magnezit, Moscow, Russia.
Fig. 1. Structure of consumption of refractory materials by different
branches of industry.