Impact of Environmental Policies on the Competitiveness of the Steel industry

“ Steel, an metal of Fe and C, is both stable and elastic, highly immune and a lasting point of our mundane life. Today there are over 2,500 standard steel types, with new classs and applications emerging all the clip. Each steel type is hence particularly made for its specific intent. It is capable to rigorous quality criterions to guarantee that it optimally withstands the specific tonss ”[ 1 ]. “ A criterion can be defined as a papers, established by consensus and approved by a recognized organic structure, which provides, for common and perennial usage, regulations, guidelines or features for activities or their consequences, aimed at the accomplishment of the optimal grade of order in a given context ”[ 2 ]. “ In July 2007, the new steel inclusion evaluation criterion EN 10 247 has been introduced in Europe. In connexion with the European standardisation of steel specifications, there was an pressing demand to specify a new criterion method for steel inclusion evaluation. The European Committee for Iron and Steel Standardization ECISS resolved the amplification of the new EN 10 247 as long ago as 1988, and it was published as a prevue criterion in 1998. The valid criterion was eventually published in July 2007 ”[ 3 ]. It is an interesting inquiry to cognize if these criterions do truly hold an consequence on the fight of the industry. Many of those criterions are dictated by demands for of import downstream industries such as automotive, packaging and building. The ground for the high-quality steel merchandises European steel companies are bring forthing is chiefly determined by this standardization. As such, the sector has an advantage over lower-cost manufacturers, specifically for European industry which appears to prefer local made steel due to these higher quality criterions. Steel criterions are coded with EN while Chinese criterions are coded in GB. The interlingual rendition of one criterion to another is sometimes really hard, merely specializers are able to do comparative tabular arraies.

5.4.2.2. Justification of the appraisal

Although many of the antecedently mentioned factors were non as positive for the European steel industry, we can province that criterions are really one of the minimum advantages of Europe compared to China. Thankss to the procedure of standardization in Europe, European steel is worldwide considered as superior quality and dependability. Chinese steel makers are quickly catching up and are holding implemented criterions which are considered to be at equal quality so the European 1s. The fact that BMW is already bring forthing their high quality autos like the 3 series and 5 series in China with Chinese steel agencies that their steel merchandises meet the demands of high-end users[ 4 ].

5.4.2.3. Indication of the tendency

Even though European steel is worldwide considered as one of the better quality Jesuss, developing states are expected to catch up rapidly and present similar quality. The competitory advantage of European criterions is hence expected to be less important in the close hereafter. Standards will stay of import for end consumers like auto makers, building companies and packaging houses. The criterions are necessary for the consumers in order to specify if the quality is sufficient plenty for their specific usage.

5.4.2.4. Appraisal of the importance

The European criterions are developed and set by the European Committee for Iron and Steel Standardization ( ECISS ) and are holding a direct influence on of import downstream industries like automotive, packaging and building. The EU steel industry has managed to keep some of the highest quality degrees – in portion due to standardization. That ‘s why the European industry has an advantage compared to lower-cost manufacturers such as China. European companies which have to react to those criterions are more likely to devour European steel because they are certain that the quality meets the needed criterions. On the graduated table of importance, research workers of ECORYS are giving this issue a 7 on 10.

However, non everyone is convinced that these European criterions are of such an importance to the fight of the European steel industry. Buttiens: “ In the terminal, it is ever the client who decides what sort of steel he/she demands, no affair the criterion ” . The client asks for a certain thickness, towing ability, ductileness, etc. On footing of these specifications, the steel criterion is determined. So criterions are really working in both waies. At one side, there is the client who asks for a certain type of steel and on the other side, there is the steel maker who produces what is demanded. Everything what is produced should be tested and during this phase one determines the criterion.

Refering the importance of criterions on the international program, Buttiens states that high quality steel is in general non imported. The chief export merchandise is hot rolled spiral, which is an intermediate steel merchandise. The criterions for this hot rolled spiral are non that of import so as a decision we can province that criterions are of import but that the difference between the parts is minimum. Buttiens should hence give a 5 on the graduated table of importance.

5.4.3. Consumer criterions ( wellness and safety )

5.4.3.1. Definition

Consumer criterions are paperss depicting acceptable features or use for merchandises, stuffs and services used by single consumers. They may stipulate dimensional, public presentation or safety demands for family merchandises[ 5 ]. Virtually every consumer merchandise – from kids ‘s playthings to iceboxs and autos – is regulated for safety[ 6 ]. The European Union has established EU Torahs on the safety of nutrient and other merchandises, on consumers ‘ rights and on the protection of people ‘s wellness[ 7 ]. Consumer criterions are non playing a major function in the steel industry. The ground is really simple: about all steel merchandises are intermediate merchandises used in the production of concluding goods. These consumer criterions are hence captured in industry-specific criterions or in cardinal directives for the downstream industries.

5.4.3.2. Justification of the appraisal

Although consumer criterions are non holding a direct consequence on the steel industry, they are transferred to the industry-specific criterions for the downstream industries[ 8 ]. That means that there is indirectly a nexus between both. It is possibly non of the greatest importance but the consequence is non negligible and that is the ground why it is decided to set it in the list with factors act uponing the steel industry.

5.4.3.3. Indication of the tendency

It is non expected that consumer criterions will be progressively of import for the competiveness of the steel industry. Merchandises which are sold in Europe are already strongly controlled and insecure or unhealthy merchandises are banned from European markets. A farther enforcement of the consumer criterions in Europe is non foreseen. In China, on the contrary, there is still room for betterment. Recent illustrations from the nutrient industry ( the 2008 milk dirt ) show that consumer criterions are sometimes deficient[ 9 ].

5.4.3.4. Appraisal of the importance

Since about all steel merchandises are intermediate merchandises and hence non capable to consumer criterions, the research workers of ECORYS merely give this issue a 5 on the graduated table of importance. We can therefore conclude that these consumer criterions are holding a minor consequence on the competiveness of the European steel industry.

6. Decision

This thesis tried to analyze the “ Practical Impact of Environmental Policies on the Competitiveness of the Steel Industry ” . It did concentrate on concrete comparative elements in between China and the EU.

Taking China and the EU as two instances of universe importance for steel production is based on their economic and historical value as power houses. China, as the biggest steel state of the universe, produced about 568 million dozenss of petroleum steel in 2009 and counted for 36.25 % of entire planetary steel end product. The EU 27 produced during the same twelvemonth around 138 million. The economic success of China during the last three decennaries has besides been impacting the international steel markets. With immense substructure and building undertakings, and the rise of a turning middle-class with buying power, the demand for steel is outspoken in the most populated state on Earth. Despite even the hardest economic crisis the universe has seen since 1929, Chinese petroleum steel production and ingestion soared. This is besides partially due to a Chinese stimulus bundle but it is decidedly non the lone ground. The European Union intervened with stimulus bundles every bit good but the effects on the steel industry have non been felt every bit drastically as they did in China. It is besides clear that the economic development of China is surely non over yet.

The construction of the Chinese and European steel market has some cardinal points of distinction. Since Mao turned China into a communist state in 1949, he launched a figure of development programs in order to go a respectable industrial world power. One of his thoughts was to put in in every small town a steel factory. As a effect, steel Millss appeared all over the state and crude steel end product kept increasing. The steel industry has ever been considered by the cardinal authorities as a “ strategic ” and “ preferable ” industry. It should be said that this remains the instance today. With a today ‘s norm of 60 % of steel companies owned by the authorities and a prohibition on any foreign control interest in a Chinese steel house, Chinese authorities functionaries are still sing steel as an indispensable trade good for their economic development.

In the early 80 ‘s, the European steel industry was besides characterized by this strong relationship between authoritiess and steel companies. Government functionaries were good positioned in the board of managers of many steel companies. During the last 30 old ages, planetary economic development reduced its alone trust on the steel industry, and as such its “ political ” importance. A moving ridge of denationalizations was the consequence. In a following stage another phenomenon appeared which we notice in China today every bit good: consolidation. In Europe, we have the feeling that the last stairss towards consolidation are finished. The European steel industry, in a lasting hunt for added value, has been concentrating on proficient inventions and transformed itself into a high-value industry. Consolidations are happening now on a planetary graduated table, far beyond the boundaries of Europe. The two prima European steel companies both have been integrated into world-wide pudding stones: the European Arcelor and the Indian Mittal Steel merged in 2006 and formed ArcelorMittal, the universe ‘s biggest steel manufacturer. And in 2007 Corus has been taken over by Tata Steel, the other Indian steel giant.

Consolidations are besides really common in the today ‘s Chinese steel industry. The consolidation fling which passed through Europe during the 1880ss and 1890ss is go throughing through China now. A clear difference is that consolidation in Europe was driven by denationalizations. In China, consolidations are more seen as the ideal manner to undertake inefficiency, hike productiveness AND cut down pollution. The Chinese cardinal authorities decided to unite consolidation with “ greenification ” and to construct immense state-of-the-art steel production installations with an impressive environmental record and an unbelievable efficiency.

Overall this survey does uncover that environmental policies do hold a serious impact on the manner the steel concern operates.

In Europe legion ordinances and regulative models define the on the job rules of the steel production. The EU clime policy consists of the EU emanation trading strategy ( ETS ) , REACH, IPPC and many others. These environmental ordinances, who tried to invariably cut down the C emanations, are earnestly interfering with their concern operations and are, as commented in our interviews, even harming the fight of the European steel industry. It is particularly in Europe that steel companies are invariably experiencing increased force per unit area on their productiveness in order to stay competitory. The existent competitory issue is that the steel industry is such a globalized industry. The European steel industry is forced to do extra costs due to the compulsory nature of the ETS ordinances. In many other steel bring forthing states these emanation decreases are largely voluntary and therefore less restraining and decisive. This means that the EU manufacturers will confront a serious cost-disadvantage vis-a-vis their planetary rivals. A possible solution should be to implement ETS on a planetary graduated table and to make extra attempts to make an equal playing field. But it ‘s extremely improbable that the EU diplomats are able to coerce a discovery.

In China environmental ordinances are merely in their “ embryologic “ stage. It is merely late, with the creative activity of Ministry of Environmental Protection ( MEP ) that a centrally governed institutional organ can concentrate on the jurisprudence enforcement and control of the local steel industry. In the Five-year programs ( FYP ) of the Chinese cardinal authorities, much attending has been paid to the recycling of waste H2O and air pollution intervention. In general, most of the environmental impact and advancement has been made by the monolithic consolidation moving ridge of the little steel Millss in China, and the investing into major new state-of-the-art steel workss, which allow production efficiency to be combined with monolithic emanation optimisations.

The Chinese steel industry cogent evidence and serves as an illustration to other industries that economic growing and environmental attempts could travel manus in manus. In order to undertake further on environmental jobs, China is non as far developed as Europe yet. In the following FYP for environmental protection, much more environmental programs will be unveiled.

An interesting observation is that environmental policies could earnestly impact the overall fight of the steel industry and its regional participants. The immense difference in ‘active ‘ indorsement of emanation restrictions and environmental ordinances between European and Chinese steel companies seems to earnestly damage the fight of the European steel industry. Direct feedback from the interviews with senior direction of ArcelorMittal shows their strong concern and call for action to decide this structural instability.

Although “ environmental ordinances ” seem to impact straight the fight of the steel industry, it was interesting to analyze deeper some of the other nucleus determiners of this industry sector ‘s fight in a globalized universe. Some of the major factors are: labour Torahs and ordinances – province assistance, subsidies and free market principles – merchandise specialisation and rational belongings rights.

Sing labor, we can province that there are some cardinal differences between China and EU and that these differences do hold an impact on the fight of their several steel industries. When we compare the EU and China, we remark that European steel production installations are more capital-intensive than their Chinese opposite numbers. This means that they need more highly-skilled labor. However, the consolidation moving ridge in China gives rise to bigger state-of-the-art production workss and hence more highly-skilled labor. In general, European workers are better skilled but besides more expensive while Chinese workers are less skilled and hence less expensive, although this has been altering every bit good. China forms great highly-skilled applied scientists but those people are inquiring for a better wage every bit good. European steel companies are holding rather a batch of troubles in pulling endowment due to the high force per unit area on productiveness and unattractiveness of steel in Europe. In China, it ‘s the exact antonym: steel is booming and many gifted people are eager on establishing a calling in the industry. Today, the effects of labor on the fight are minimum but this is likely to alter.

Sing province assistance and province subsidies, steel mills in developing states such as those in Europe are enduring compared to some of their international opposite numbers. Particularly authoritiess from emerging markets like Russia, Ukraine and in our survey besides peculiarly China do n’t see jobs in apportioning direct or indirect state-aid and subsidies to industries which they consider as strategic for their economic development. The more developed states like Japan, the US and the EU opposed more state-aid because these could falsify the free market. Out of our direction interviews with ArcelorMittal, it looks that the EU adheres most accordingly to these free market rules. Even the Japanese and American authorities are historically and really still really protectionist towards their ain production mills. In a globalized industry where goods like steel can easy and rather stingily be moved from one continent to the other, dumping patterns do harm the European steel industry. Despite import quotas that have been imposed to protect the industry, the overrun job in China has been harmful for European steel companies. Closely related to the antecedently mentioned facet are the international trade and investing ordinances. In a planetary concern where steel as a merchandise can be easy transported, trade barriers and import duties are holding a serious influence. So far, we have been detecting that the Chinese authorities is non truly lament on imports. That ‘s why they are holding a quite protectionist policy. The EU is frequently considered as an easy client who to a great extent promotes free market mechanisms and as such can be considered as an easy client for other steel bring forthing states. Many states are non esteeming the quotas, trade barriers or duties. The mechanisms which should protect European markets from dumping patterns are frequently excessively slow or non working decently.

In its thrust to make more and more “ added value ” , the steel industry tries to specialise itself with high tech merchandises. As such the protection of these “ rational rights ” becomes more and more an issue and needs closer attending. Since particular steel is besides acquiring more and more of import in developing parts like China, automatically IPR and their protection should be considered. In China, IP is still non good protected. At this minute particular steel is largely produced in states with stronger IPR rights like the EU and Japan. Competition in the steel industry is rather ferocious and any major steel manufacturer will necessitate to introduce in order to stay competitory. So the effects of IPR issues can hold their consequence but are non from a major importance to the fight in the steel industry.

As a general decision, one could province that environmental ordinances do earnestly impact the fight of the steel industry. This factor could even be considered as the most of import in our list of influential factors. It is singular to see the differences between the EU and China, particularly the adulthood and manner of the ordinances, regulative organisations, plans to get by with clime alteration and of class the impact of these ordinances on the fight of the steel industry. It is rather interesting how the Chinese are uniting rejuvenation and the consolidation of this industry sector. The Europium remains at the head of undertaking clime alteration and is making enormous attempts to cut down pollution and GHG emanations, frequently at the disbursal of the European steel manufacturers. In order to develop a “ sustainable ” industrial activity on a planetary graduated table like the steel industry, serious inquiries have been raised on how this international concern should be organised and how an equal playing field between parts, continents or states should be acquired.