Author: former deputy director of National Development and Reform Commission, Zhang Guobao, former director of the National Energy Board
Following the Shougang, Guangzhou Iron and Steel Plant, Hangzhou Iron and Steel Plant after the closure of the Jinan Iron and Steel Plant by 60 Spring and Autumn also curtain call. These are located in the capital and provincial cities of iron and steel enterprises have been the backbone of the provinces and cities and enterprises, for economic development has made a significant contribution.
Now that steel, many people will think of this is "to the production capacity," a key industry; is a traditional industry, or even a sunset industry; high energy consumption and high pollution emissions industry. But I still have to say that the steel industry is actually an evergreen industry in the industrial sector.
Iron and steel industry turning point: from the number of growth to structural adjustment of the type of development
Human society began to use iron instead of bronze more than 2,000 years ago, which greatly promoted the development of productive forces and became a milestone in human society from slavery society to feudal society. For more than 2,000 years, steel has been widely used in the field of production and living, so far enduring. Although the new materials continue to emerge, especially in the "plastic and steel" the most typical, but the steel as the most important industrial raw material status is still unable to shake.
I have an article in the article on the importance of food for human survival, for example, despite the ever-changing scientific and technological revolution, the new format, new industries after another, but the food is still the most important material for human survival, when people have to eat, The future will still be so. Similarly, iron and steel for the industry, like food for human beings, despite the Internet, artificial intelligence, bio-medicine and other new technologies, new industries after another, but the steel support the entire industry skeleton, especially for China, a wide range of industries, steel is Indispensable important industries, the future will be the case.
I do not mean that the steel industry does not need to adjust, transform, upgrade, on the contrary, China has become the world's number one steel production power, the annual output of more than 800 million tons, production capacity of more than 1.1 billion tons Followed by the second, third, fourth, and even the total production of steel producers, but also far more than the history of the world's steel development in Europe, the United States, the former Soviet Union, Japan and other countries have achieved the output The The quality of energy consumption, material consumption, emissions and product varieties of China's tonnage steel has reached or approached the world's advanced level, but the level of iron and steel enterprises is uneven. For many iron and steel enterprises, the characteristics of extensive operation are still obvious. And according to the law of economic development, we can not always maintain such a high yield, need to be adjusted in time to transform, to backward production capacity. Reduce production capacity, reduce energy consumption, material consumption, improve the quality of varieties, reduce emissions, take the road of development of fine steel in order to make the iron and steel industry sustained and healthy development.
If the main task of the iron and steel industry is to expand the scale of production in order to meet the demand for sustained growth of the national economy, then the main task of the steel industry in the future is to take the road of fine steel, not only in the new China since its establishment, especially since the reform and opening up Is to maintain the largest steel production power, but also to build the world's first steel power. In the next two decades, no matter how the rapid development of new industries, iron and steel industry will continue to be an important industry in China's national economy, but also China's participation in international competition, a dominant industry, is an important export industry.
Regardless of other countries how the industrial structure, the positioning of the steel industry is in line with China's national conditions and economic development laws.
An annual output of 800 million tons is the result of market demand stimulus rather than the result of government planning
So, how should we evaluate China's steel industry through the development of the road?
The steel industry was once an important symbol of whether a country was an industrial power. It is said that during the eight years of the war, Japan's average annual production of steel is 5 million tons, while China's annual output of steel is only 5,000 tons (not the Japanese occupation of the Northeast and Taiwan). Japan's steel production is China's 1000 times, coupled with Japan already have the aircraft, ship production capacity, the strength of the strength of the contrast has been very obvious.
New China was founded in 1949, China's steel production is only 158,000 tons. In 1950, the resumption of part of the production capacity of only 610,000 tons. Chairman Mao of the new China attaches great importance to the iron and steel industry, put forward the "steel as the key link" "Anshan Iron and Steel Constitution" and so on, launched a large iron and steel as an important content of the "Great Leap Forward", despite the lack of experience in economic development, Took the detours, causing losses, but as the Chinese leaders to achieve the dream of the dream of the strategy is very obvious. However, in 1958, the power of the country, really to the point of Zaguomaitie, did not really complete the annual output of 10.7 million tons of the target, to 1959 statistics, steel production reached more than 11 million tons, and most of the quality of substandard Of the small blast furnace products, including Zaguomai iron melting iron products.
I was over, then the scene vividly.
"Great Leap Forward" after the adjustment to consolidate and improve, the provinces of small and medium steel plants are mostly adjusted after the foundation, including the Jinan Iron and Steel Plant is also in 1958, "Great Leap Forward" after the development of the enterprise, for our country Iron and steel industry development has laid a certain foundation. But the formation of such a large number of iron and steel enterprises located in the central capital city, now to large and medium cities caused great environmental pressure.
In most of the years, China's steel has been unable to meet the needs of development, are tight material, but also net imports of materials, especially high-end steel imports. I participated in the work after exposure to high-speed steel, die steel, bearing steel, automotive panels, oil pipes and so on to rely on imports. To the reform and opening up in 1978, steel production reached more than 3100 million tons. As the iron and steel market is tight supplies, the early private enterprises and self-employed many rely on steel fortune, such as Tianjin's Daegu Zhuang, Jiangsu Huaxi Village and so on.
After the reform and opening up Baosteel construction on the iron and steel industry development milestone significance, so that China's iron and steel industry modernization on a higher level, after the construction and transformation of steel plant Baosteel advanced technology and equipment, greatly narrowing the gap with the international advanced level.
In 1996, China's steel production reached 100 million tons, entered the ranks of steel production power. 7 years later, in 2003 reached 200 million tons of production, becoming the world's largest steel producer.
Since then, the output has increased and almost 100 million tons of production has been increased every two years. Iron and steel production is too loud, but in fact until 2014, steel production exceeded 800 million tons, the market did not appear obvious oversupply situation, the production of products are basically digested the market. This is because this period of China's sustained economic development, railways, highways and other infrastructure and real estate construction requires a lot of steel.
On the other hand, if there is no rapid development of the steel industry, it is impossible to support the rapid development of China's economy. At the same time in 1994 as the price base, although there are 20 years of inflation, energy, raw materials, labor costs are substantially price increases, steel prices do not rise or fall, which is the result of technological progress and competition.
It can be said that steel production reached a record 800 million tons more is the result of market demand stimulus, rather than the results of government planning, in my memory, the government has never planned 800 million tons of steel production. A considerable part of the production capacity is not approved by the government of private enterprises.
Look at the 800 million tons of steel whereabouts, of which more than 100 million tons of exports, as mechanical and electrical equipment products and engineering contractor exports of steel also more than 80 million tons, the two together, about 200 million tons of steel exports. No steel industry support, China's exports of mechanical and electrical products and overseas project contracting can not reach today's scale.
In fact, the steel industry from 2003 to 200 million tons, the rapid growth of production for several years, and the power industry is fully synchronized. Since 2002, the installed capacity of electricity is almost an annual increase of 100 million kilowatts of installed capacity. The rapid development of the steel industry is adapted to the market demand for this period.
China's annual export of more than 100 million tons of steel also led to trade friction, the export should not be so much steel controversial. Some people think that steel is a high capacity product, there is pollution, should not be exported so much. But this is the decision of China's economic development stage, no energy and ore in Japan, South Korea is also a steel exporting country, for their economic take-off and employment has contributed. Iron and steel is now a dominant industry in China, in the future will also be an important export products for our industry to go out, especially the infrastructure to go out to provide the necessary raw materials.
Layout of the coastal modernization of large steel base is entirely correct and necessary
China's iron ore imports each year has more than 1 billion tons, external dependence reached 80%, then China should not import iron ore, the development of the steel industry should not? I think this is where steel is contributing to China's trade, taxation and employment. In the iron and steel layout, the construction of Zhanjiang, Caofeidian such a coastal modern large steel base is absolutely necessary to maintain China's steel competitiveness, so that the steel industry to the next step on the correct decision. At the same time, in the iron ore origin and the market near the rational layout of some steel plants is also planning must be considered. But must pay attention to the cost of logistics and environmental capacity to mineral production, must not blindly develop production.
The planning work of the steel industry has also played an important role in the development of the past few decades, including the planning and construction of the third-line construction and the construction of Baosteel are carried out under the national planning. I do not agree with some people say, let the market freedom to decide to develop, deny all the planning and industrial policy role. The correct planning and industrial policy and play a role in the market competition is equally important, this is the development of Chinese characteristics of the road, it is precisely our advantage. In the future adjustment of the steel industry, planning and industrial policy still have to play a good role, but the focus of work will be transferred to the merger and reorganization, energy saving, environmental protection, eliminate backward production capacity, go fine steel road, rather than the past Accustomed to the development of production capacity.
I think that only such a dialectical view of China's steel industry is in line with China's national conditions and reality. In the past, there were metallurgical departments, played a historic role in the construction of new China's steel industry, and now there is no metallurgy department, the steel industry has been more development, indicating that market-oriented industry has played a leading role in the development. The future of industrial planning is more guidance, to give full play to the industry association of advice, self-discipline, so that the iron and steel industry in the "three five" and the future longer period of development more healthy.
Editor: Song Yucheng Source: China Economic Weekly
Contact Person: Mr. Martin Lee
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