Before government turmoil struck the nation, Turkey was primed to pick up the production slack left in the wake of Russia’s heavy global sanctions. As it stands now, the upheaval has slowed but not killed production spikes over 2016, and Turkey still has plenty of resources to maintain and increase steel production. If political stability can hold, they’ll become a much larger supplier across Europe and western Asia. Forecasts suggest their growth to range anywhere from 3 to 15 percent, with a higher likelihood emphasizing the lower numbers.
Another nation where political instability threatens growth, the case in the Philippines is much less severe. The country is pushing hard to join the TPP agreement, and it represents potential for their rich steel industry. Even without TPP, the Philippines are expecting continued growth in steel output. The question is whether or not they can match the 60 percent growth that has been seen in the last 3 years. Ultimately, TPP negotiations will determine their fate.
This is another country that will have its fate determined by TPP, but in the opposite way. Indonesia is already a South Pacific leader in steel production because of the presence of ore and government regulations. The country has seen excellent steel growth by investing in their own infrastructure and mandating that at least 40 percent of the steel used be domestic. This has built a cornerstone for steel production that has already spiked in the wake of China’s downturn. The TPP negotiations will further determine just how easily Indonesia can export steel across the Pacific, but regardless, their production is likely to maintain the 6 percent growth seen in 2016.
India still has a long road ahead for development in all sectors, but steel is currently thriving for a few reasons. First, low global oil prices have made it more affordable for the nation to expand its production. Second, a few innovative fuel solutions are helping India to maintain sustainable production regardless of oil prices. Finally, they are one of the few nations in the world with the production capacity to truly capitalize on the supply drop from China. While the most optimistic speculations suggest that China’s losses will be almost entirely India’s gains, more modest projections still show growth in the range of 10 percent.
The other countries on the list come with some range of speculation. Japan is the surest bet. They are already the third-largest steel producer in the world, and with prices climbing you can expect Japan to capitalize. Regardless of international negotiations, they have the means to provide steel at competitive prices, and the largest consumers of steel already import from Japan. They have already seen 3 percent growth in 2016, and unless things change quickly and dramatically in China, that number will hold or grow.