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Economics and Finances
ArticleName World ferrous metallurgy: crisis around the turn of a new decade
ArticleAuthor Yu. L. Adno

Institute of World Economy and International Relations (Moscow, Russia):

Adno Yu. L., Cand. Eng., Leading Researcher, E-mail:


The main event of the decade that began, of course, was the CONVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which, combined with the collapse of the global oil market, initiated a new, unusual crisis that developed rapidly and covered all areas of the world economy - from international tourism to the industrial sector. An analysis of the impact of the crisis on the situation in world metallurgy is presented, the main factors for the development of the industry in the current conditions, when industrial production (primarily the auto industry), construction and investment processes in many countries are suspended as a part of strict quarantine measures, are considered. The result is a landslide drop in world and country metal products markets. Thus, in May, the demand for metal in the leading EU countries, the USA, the countries of Southeast Asia and Latin America amounted to no more than 40–50% of last year’s level. Losses of the global economy. from the pandemic have already exceeded the damage from the 2008 crisis. The annual fall in the world GDP is estimated at no less than 1.5%, and the absolute loss this year may be about $ 3.5 trillion. Particular attention is paid to the state of China’s metallurgy, which, as before, determines the most important trends in world development. Thanks to tough and decisive quarantine measures, the country’s leadership was able to prevent a collapse of the metallurgical industry as a whole, at the same time encountering the acute problem of falling domestic metal consumption, exports, and investments. In addition, the pandemic could lead to a collapse in demand for Chinese manufactured goods, which would dramatically increase the loss of the Chinese economy. Russian metallurgical companies entered the crisis with a relatively stable financial situation, a comfortable debt load and protection against the market volatility, which was facilitated by vertical integration and a diversified portfolio of orders, which made it possible to flexibly regulate commodity flows. At the same time, the negative impact of the epidemic on related industries, primarily transport and logistics and construction, can have serious negative consequences in the form of disruptions in the supply chain. The forecasts for the development of metallurgy are quite contradictory and will be determined by the situation in the global economy, where the turbulence of world financial markets creates real prerequisites for the start of another cyclical crisis. Moreover, the main factor is the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic situation. Hence, there is a wide range of expert estimates of the GDP dynamics for the current year — from minus 5 % to minus 10% and even lower.

keywords Metallurgy, steel market, global GDP growth rates, crisis, pandemic, China, Russian companies, forecast uncertainty

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