Steelonthenet blog

Steel industry comment and analysis

Merger of London-based mining and metal sector consultancies

MCI joins forces with Saint Barbara to offer clients a broad range of metals, minerals and mining industry consulting and expert witness support services

London, U.K. – April 2nd, 2020 Metals Consulting International Limited (MCI), the independent iron and steel sector management consulting firm, today announces the merger of its advisory business with that of Saint Barbara, advisors to the world’s metals, minerals and mining industries.

MCI mostly undertakes iron and steel sector due diligence and feasibility study work for clients in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and in the Middle East. Saint Barbara supports commodity sector clients in Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Both MCI and Saint Barbara also offer international clients expert witness advisory support on mining and metal sector topics.

The merger, which took effect on 31st March 2020, sees Saint Barbara’s business activities come under the umbrella of the MCI Group. Currently, MCI also owns and operates, and  After the merger, Saint Barbara will continue to operate under the Saint Barbara brand, with seamless transfer of all ongoing client work to MCI at the point of merger.

Commenting on this development, Andy Wells, Partner at Saint Barbara said “We are delighted to come together with the experts at MCI. There is much complementarity between our two businesses, and the merger means that we will be able to offer clients a much broader range of metals, minerals and mining sector advisory capabilities”. David Duckworth, who will lead Saint Barbara’s metals, minerals and mining practice from April 2020 added “This development will allow us to enhance our capabilities and continue to support banks, governments and private investors in making better business decisions in industries that are highly capital intensive”. Andrzej Kotas, Managing Director of MCI added “MCI too are very pleased to join forces with Saint Barbara, who have well-established mining and metal industry expertise. Together, our industry specialists look forward to continuing growth of our newly-enlarged firm as interest in the global ferrous and non-ferrous metals industries continues to rise”.

The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

– ENDS –

For further information about MCI, please contact Andrzej M Kotas.


Press enquiries: +44 (0) 775-149-0885

For further information about Saint Barbara, please contact David Duckworth.


Press enquiries: +44 (0) 758 490-5047


About Metals Consulting International

MCI is a London-based consultancy that provides international clients with iron and steel sector management consultancy support, principally related to investment decisions, metal sector business restructuring and performance improvement. MCI was founded in October 2003 and is privately owned.

About Saint Barbara

Saint Barbara is an independent consultancy firm that offers specialist advice to the world’s metals, minerals and mining industries. The firm’s consultants cover a broad and extensive range of commodities which include base and ferrous metals, steelmaking metals, battery metals, precious metals and rare earths. Saint Barbara was founded in March 1992.

History of world’s largest steel plants

The team has put together historic profiles for some of the largest global steelmakers. The profiles cover:

  • Ansteel
  • ArcelorMittal
  • Ascometal
  • Baosteel
  • Baowu
  • British Steel Corporation
  • Evraz
  • Gerdau
  • Hesteel
  • Hunan Valin
  • Jianlong
  • JFE Steel
  • JSW Steel
  • Karmet
  • Liberty House Group
  • Maanshan Steel
  • Metinvest
  • MMK
  • Nippon Steel
  • NLMK
  • Nucor
  • Riva
  • SAIL
  • Severstal
  • Schmolz+Bickenbach
  • Shagang Group
  • Shandong Steel
  • Shougang Steel
  • Tata Iron & Steel
  • US Steel
  • Wuhan Iron and Steel

Site visitors can see these profiles on‘s steel company history pages. Note that we will be adding other steel companies to this list over time.


The team at




5 year steel price forecasts

We now offer five year steel price forecasts for sale to site visitors at These projections – derived from an econometric model – are available for purchase and cover ferrous scrap, billet, slab, HRC, CRC, HDG, organic coated sheet and rebar.

For further infomration, please visit




Latest world steel news

For latest world steel news, visit Annual subscriptions start at just $120 / year and cover carbon steel news and / or specialty steel news (engineering steel, stainless steel and tool steel news).

World steel prices 2018

There is a good relationship between global capacity utilisation and steel price levels. The chart below describes this.

steel industry capacity utilisation versus steel price level

According to the World Steel Association, global capacity utilisation has increased from 69.4% in December 2017 to 76.9% in April 2018. For report, visit

Therefore, our expectation is that steel prices should be increasing soon – with the world hot rolled coil and rebar price attaining a price level some $150/tonne better than last December.

To track global steel prices, visit our world steel prices page.

Steel industry suppliers – pig iron

Our analysts have put together a steel industry suppliers page. This identifies steel associations, consultants, distributors, electrode suppliers, equipment supply firms, ferroalloy suppliers, pig iron suppliers etc.

Under pig iron suppliers, we list the following firms.





Sesa Goa:



For full list of several hundred firms, visit or to see a map of the various locations worldwide see


UK Government report – opportunities in UK Steel

An excellent report published end-2017 by the UK Government’s Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy identified a number of different market opportunities for the UK steel sector. For full report, see

Some months on, has there been any progress at all with the recommendations made? Or will this BEIS report (like the Action Plans issued by the European Commission in recent years) be yet another adornment on some government shelf? 

If site visitor are aware of any progress made, please let us know.

Dr Andrzej M Kotas, CEO,



Steel industry expert witness service

Metals Consulting International – the parent of – has just launched a new steel industry expert witness support service. offers industry clients professional technical and commercial expert support relating to iron and steel sector disputes. This experience includes all areas of steel production, including raw material preparation, ironmaking, liquid steelmaking, casting and rolling. Our capabilities also cover commercial disputes and arbitrations concerning pricing, delivery terms, transport, contract performance and product valuation for insurance or compensation purposes. Our experts also have a good understanding of the obligations that are normally expected of the expert witness role.

For further information please visit our new website at or call +44 775 149 0885.

Steel industry discussion board

The team have just launched a FREE iron and steel industry discussion board. Site visitors can post company news and event information, classified ads, job search, technical queries and other messages relating to steel, at their convenience.

Their is no charge for this service. All that is required is a quick and simple user registration.

Please visit us to try out the new steel message board which may be found at

Website Administrator


Prospects for the Steel Industry in the USA – ISSB perspective

Note – the passage below was written by the steel team at ISSB (Iron & Steel Statistics Bureau, UK) in January 2017.

It is fair to say that the past year has been one of changing fortunes for the global steel industry in general and for the US steel industry in particular. Although US demand for steel in the first half of the year was fairly subdued, a strong raft of anti-dumping legislation implemented in the latter part of 2015 meant domestic steelmakers enjoyed added protection. Crude steel production in the first half of 2016 was stable year on year compared with import levels which were 28% lower.
The subsequent increase in domestic steel prices once again led buyers to search out value from overseas sources resulting in Q3 import levels being substantially higher, although still 2% below Q3 the previous year, and domestic production falling by 4%. This trend continued into October with production down nearly 5% year on year but early indications show that the general election result may have helped to halt this decline.
The surprise election of Donald Trump could have a profound effect on the way that the US trades with the rest of the world. Trump appears to favour a more aggressive trade policy, regularly citing job losses as a result of imports from other countries, especially China. As the US is already agile in its application of anti-dumping legislation when necessary, it seems likely that US policy going forward will be geared even further towards protecting domestic interests.
The recent high profile case of Ford cancelling its proposed Mexican production plant in favour of one in the US after continued criticism from Trump along with the president-elect already suggesting taxes will be imposed on imported vehicles suggest in the short term at least that US demand for steel looks set to improve and given Trump’s rhetoric, this growth is very likely to be supplied by domestic producers.
The long term effect of these protectionist policies is rather more uncertain but in November, the month of the election, US steel production increased by over 6% year on year, the first growth since May. Going forward, the Australian Department of Industry is now predicting US steel production to grow by 6% this year and a further 13% in 2018 compared to the pre-election forecasts of 3% and 7% respectively.
It is just over a week before president-elect Donald Trump takes up his position in the White House and whilst the next five years are very likely to herald a much more protectionist stance to international trade for the US, aiding domestic steel producers in the short term, the long term consequence of this on the global steel industry and steel prices in particular is much more difficult to assess. In the short term imports are likely to be at reduced levels, adding to the quantities of surplus steel on the international market with the commensurate downward pressure on prices. Longer term trade restrictions are unlikely to lead to long-term prosperity with innovation and competitiveness on the global market likely to suffer.
For further information on this topic (particularly trade volumes) please visit ISSB or for other perspectives visit our steel industry news and information portal.