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Inside Steel Mills and Metalurgical Plants

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A.West
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I recently returned from a research trip in China and Russia, where I met with a number of companies, particularly steel, metal, and mining firms in Russia. I took a number of photos, first miscelaneous photos in Shanghai, and then in Russia of locations in underground nickel mines and processing plants, steel mills, and open pit coal mines.

I'll bet many of you remember vividly Ayn Rand's descriptions of Hank Rearden's steel plants, and may be interested in seeing such factories operating up close in person. Below is the link to my photo album of that trip.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Andrew.H.West/...ssiaTripMay2008

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I recently returned from a research trip in China and Russia, where I met with a number of companies, particularly steel, metal, and mining firms in Russia. I took a number of photos, first miscelaneous photos in Shanghai, and then in Russia of locations in underground nickel mines and processing plants, steel mills, and open pit coal mines.

I'll bet many of you remember vividly Ayn Rand's descriptions of Hank Rearden's steel plants, and may be interested in seeing such factories operating up close in person. Below is the link to my photo album of that trip.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Andrew.H.West/...ssiaTripMay2008

Are the Chinese using cutting edge advanced technology to make their steel? I can't tell from looking at the pictures.

ruveyn

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Nice photos, Andrew. I bet the Chinese and Russians have an advantage in these industries because of looser pollution rules than we have.

I am also curious how these plants compare to U.S., European or Japanese plants that make similar materials.

I've yet to tour steel plants around the world, yet. I have some invitations, so expect more tours in time, in different locations. Chinese plants are among the newest, because that's where most of the world's new capacity has come in the past 7 years. Chinese now make about 35% of the world's steel, and consume most of it. Korea is supposed to have the world's most efficient steel complex. Japanese are supposed to be capable of making the highest quality steel. These Russian plants are still in the process of being upgraded, most of the complexes were originally built in Soviet times, but are privately owned now by investors globally. Their competitive advantage is that these companies also own iron and coal mines, and that Russian demand for steel is growing rapidly, a big advantage during this time of rising input costs. Quality is good enough, but not generally the highest end products like specialty steel. NLMK does make a lot of electical steel though.

Russians are less restrictive environmentally on these sorts of operations. In mining, they can pay about $12,000/year.

Europeans of course are the highest cost producers, given their unions, and various environmental taxes.

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I recently returned from a research trip in China and Russia, where I met with a number of companies, particularly steel, metal, and mining firms in Russia. I took a number of photos, first miscelaneous photos in Shanghai, and then in Russia

Just out of curiousity...I seem to remember from another thread that you work on Wall Street. Combined with the posting here, I conclude you are a metal industry analyst for an investment bank? If so, which one?

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Just out of curiousity...I seem to remember from another thread that you work on Wall Street. Combined with the posting here, I conclude you are a metal industry analyst for an investment bank? If so, which one?

I cover the global transportation, steel, and auto industries for an investment management firm in NJ, Harding Loevner. A few years back I worked near Wall St. for another firm, as a transport industry analyst, but not for an investment bank.

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