Steel is an important part of the world economy ever since it was innovated for mass production. Everything – from construction materials to cooking tools, and even cutlery – is produced today using steel. The steel industry in the Philippines can be seen as importing of raw materials of semi-finished steel products as opposed to manufacturing. Steel suppliers in the Philippines rely on other countries to supply half-finished steel products, which they will then finish and distribute throughout the country.
The iron and steel industry is categorized into two sectors: upstream and downstream. The upstream sector involves iron making, steel making, as well as billet, ingot, and slab casting. Iron making is defined as the extraction of the element iron from a rock or mineral called iron ore. On the other hand, steel making is the process by which iron is refined into steel. Billet, ingot, and slab casting is defined as the transformation of molten steel into semi-finished steel products. While the upstream sector deals with the production and the processing of iron into usable steel materials, the downstream sector handles the distribution.
The downstream sector essentially handles the dissemination of the finished steel products created by the upstream sector. Under this sector is the intermediate sector, which takes care of processing semi-finished iron and steel products needed to produce finished steel products. The processes necessary for semi-finished iron and steel products include rolling, forming, drawing, and finishing.
The downstream sector caters to major consumers of iron and steel products such as construction, metalworking and engineering, shipbuilding and repair, vehicle assembly, as well as appliance manufacturing and packaging. Steel consumer products such as wire products, hard drawn wire, nails, galvanized wire, welding electrodes, nuts and bolts, as well as fabricated items like pipes, roll formed products, roofing sheets, hot rolled pipes, and almost everything that involves some sort of steel are distributed by the downstream sector from the intermediate processing sector.