Tuesday, 12 April 2016

What is wrong with British Steel industry?- get the academic facts

The recent announcement by Tata Steel that it intends to sell its Uk operation has provoked much media coverage. But what are the wider implications? what is the state of the British steel industry?
Get the facts with our quick academic links.

BBC website  has a summary of the issues which serves as a good introduction.
For a more detailed analysis which also has links to appropriate government documents try this briefing paper from the House of Commons Library which was published at the end of March.

Key facts

Contribution of Steel to the UK economy
House of Commons paper gives the figure - 1% of  manufacturing output in 2014 a decline of 24% since 1990.
  EEF has regular reports on the state of the industry the annual review 2015 reported that in 2015 production levels reduced by 9% with further declines predicted for 2016. Proposals are made about ways in which the industry could be supported.These include a review of the EU trading emissions scheme
UK Tradeinfo maintained by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)  publishes and hosts UK trade statistics data.You can build a table of exports in types of Steel and compare with other manufacturing

 The House of Commons Library paper recorded 34,500 people employed in the steel industry in 2014 of which 54% are based in Yorkshire, Humberside or Wales. In the 2012 Welsh Economic review the Welsh Economy research Unit of Cardiff University estimated that comprised around 8% of all welsh industrial output in 2010 and 3% of total Welsh Gross added value, larger than any other private sector employer

 The decline in trends since 1993 can be clearly seen on the EEF website

World Steel Production 
The World Steel Association produces an annual statistical yearbook which charts the rise of China and decline of UK as a steel manufacturer. Editions from 1978 onwards can be downloaded from its website.In 2015 it recorded that China's share of world crude steel production was 49.5% 
Comtrade UN Trade commodities database enables calculation of value of trade in specific products for nations 

Keeping up to date with Policy
Recent statements from the UK government are published on the publications section of Uk.gov website.
See for instance this statement by Business Secretary Sajid Javid on the steel sector. 11th April 2016
Parliamentary debates and committee business can be viewed via the UK Parliament website . Older reports can be viewed on the BIS committee website. See the UK steel Industry Inquiry report published in December 2015 which predicted looming problems.
See also the Welsh Assembly website for recent debates and discussion of the situation in Wales.
The Welsh Government has set up a high level Tata Task force to consider the implications.

Commentary on industrial policy
IPPR paper on how to boost manufacturing industries.
CBI comment
EEF comment
GMB union
and USW union
British Chambers of Commerce
Labour Party policy

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