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South Korea Table of Contents

South Korea


In 1989 South Korea was the world's tenth largest steel producer, accounting for 2.3 percent of world steel production. South Korea continued to expand crude steel production--19.3 million tons for 1988, up 14.9 percent over 1987. Domestic demand for steel products increased 8.5 percent from 15 million tons to 16.3 million tons over the same period because of the growing demands of South Korean industry. Domestic demand accounted for 70 percent of the total, mostly because of the increased needs of such steel-consuming industries as automobiles, shipbuilding, and electronics.

The steel industry grew in the 1970s after the government constructed the POSCO mill to service Seoul's rapidly growing automobile, shipbuilding, and construction industries. In 1988 South Korea's steel industry included 200 steel companies. Iron and steel production was expected to increase in the early 1990s, given the output increases in domestic user industries. Exports were likely to be flat or to decline because of decreased international demand.

Data as of June 1990