Blog: worldsteel celebrates its 50th anniversary

worldsteel celebrates its 50th anniversary

worldsteel celebrates its 50th anniversary

Edwin Basson, Director General, worldsteel

16 January 2017

While mankind has been producing steel for thousands of years, mass production of steel received a boost when Bessemer designed a new way of purifying iron into steel. This was in 1857. Almost 100 years later, the market for steel was deemed global enough to need a global industry association. This led to the creation of the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) in 1967. The name was changed to World Steel Association (worldsteel) in 2008.

Much has changed in 50 years – back in 1967, the world produced just less than 500 million tonnes of steel. In 2016, the world produced just over 1,600 million tonnes. Most of the growth came from new industrialising nations – Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Iran and China.

The product is so versatile and so fundamental to our lives that it is considered essential to economic growth.  Consequently, for most of the past 50 years, the world has been producing increasingly more steel and sometimes more than is actually required – while at the same time, making the product universally affordable and promoting intense competition between its producers.

What next?

In the competitive world we operate in, fierce competition for markets will remain, with the present push to protect domestic markets probably continuing for the next few years.  Producers will be forced to be as competitive as possible in order to retain their customers.  Steel as a product will experience competition from other materials.  worldsteel as a strategic resource for the industry will work to remain the custodian of best practice in the industry, support research and development  and continue to highlight the positive benefits to society of a healthy and sustainable steel industry.  

This blog is one way through which we hope to gather your views on the status of our industry and the many challenges it will need to address in times ahead.  We look forward to our dialogue with you.


Please leave your comment here.

  • 1

    Happy birthday Worldsteel and your international steel team :)

    avatarChristophe JournetJan 16, 2017 4:59:12 PMReply

  • 2

    Thank you, Christophe!

    avatarworldsteelJan 16, 2017 5:05:36 PMReply

  • 3

    Congratulations, World Steel Team! Go ahead with our support and appreciation!

    avatarYuriy GilenyukJan 17, 2017 4:41:43 AMReply

  • 4

    Thank you, Yuriy.

    avatarworldsteelJan 17, 2017 9:04:51 AMReply

  • 5

    Over the years, World Steel Association has played an instrumental role in bringing under its umbrella almost all the steel producing countries. It has been a global voice for the steel industry. Meanwhile, in the current phase of excess capacity, worldsteel should play a more active role so that certain member countries do not cause injury to others by dumping of steel. Parallely, more aggressive efforts are required to educate the public and promote the usage of steel so as to ward off the challenges from other materials. Happy B'day, worldsteel and keep the flag flying high !!

    avatarT VinodJan 17, 2017 1:09:31 PMReply

  • 6

    Thank you, Mr T. Vinod.

    avatarworldsteelJan 17, 2017 2:31:48 PMReply

  • 7

    Thanks for keeping world steel community updated. Your efforts will help in securing the future of steel, a vital material in growth of industrialization. You have missed out mentioning India, the third largest producer of steel in world, among the countries contributing significantly in growth of steel.

    avatarS K RaiJan 18, 2017 2:49:13 AMReply

  • 8

    Thank you for your comment. We have no doubt India will be a main player in the years to come.

    avatarworldsteelJan 18, 2017 9:28:39 AMReply

  • 9

    In this part (India) concern pertaining to environment is a major issue for the steel industry. I remember having visited VA, Linz in 1993 and could not make out whether the coke ovens were operating or closed. Such was the concern for environment two and half decades back for clean environment in Europe. Need to follow stringent environment regulations in India also so that the industry growth is healthy. I am sure worldsteel can play an expert role in this context.

    avatarA.MOHANJan 18, 2017 4:44:58 AMReply

  • 10

    Thank you, Mr Mohan. The environment has been a key responsibility for us for many years. worldsteel is helping its members all over the world reduce their environmental footprint by promoting collaboration, benchmarking, innovation and technology transfer. There is a lot of material on this website particularly under circular economy which you may find interesting.

    avatarworldsteelJan 18, 2017 9:32:52 AMReply

  • 11

    Steel shall now see a change in the manner of production, supply and marketing specific to customer value proposition. The industry has always been focused on volume and producing a wide array of set products!! Never on customisation; it is in this decade that we are bound to see design, quality, innovation as a paradigm change!!

    avatarSteelNX - VijayJan 20, 2017 4:29:10 PMReply

  • 12

    India has moved to third place in both steel production and usage. World Steel Association web site helps in comparing the performance levels in both techno economics and environment. India has to catch up in these areas. I am sure World Steel Association will work with the stakeholders in India to make the Indian steel more competitive. Congratulations on completing 50 eventful years.

    avatarN. M. RAOJan 21, 2017 9:16:58 AMReply

  • 13

    Not long before worldsteel is as old as I am! Hope all is well, and my best to all my friends at worldsteel. Robert

    avatarRobert PaulJan 26, 2017 5:47:17 PMReply

  • 14

    It is rare for me to uncover something on the web that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you have got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and what's much more, you use source that are relevant to what you're saying. That you are undoubtedly one in a million, well done!

    avatarSmithc806Feb 9, 2017 3:27:51 AMReply

  • 15

    Congratulations, World Steel Team! I wish you every success. I follow & benefit greatly from all the material provided by this Association. My thanks and appreciation for all your efforts.

    avatarNaserFeb 15, 2017 3:23:10 PMReply

  • 16

    Congratulations for taking up the challenge for a very long 50 years. But today there are many more measures to be taken to create a safe environment in the steel industry. Also proper training is needed for the workforce specially for outsourced persons.

    avatarRatan dasMay 20, 2017 4:37:41 PMReply

  • 17

    Thank you for your comment, Mr Ratan das. The steel industry has set safety as its top priority and we are continuously working on improving the safety of the people who work on the steel industry, employees and contractors alike, and will continue to do so in the future. Our goal is zero incidents.

    avatarworldsteelMay 22, 2017 9:13:01 AMReply

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