While global steelmaking capacity continues to outpace demand, mills are continuing to jostle for advantage through strategic innovations and governmental interventions in international trade.
But will protectionism and product innovation be enough to give the industry the boost it needs in these uncertain times?
Or, as seems more likely, will further consolidation in Asia, Europe and elsewhere be the order of the day in the year ahead?
With the ArcelorMittal/Marcegaglia takeover of Ilva in Italy looking more solid than ever and the potential for a Tata Steel Europe/ThyssenKrupp tie-up, things are certainly starting to drift in that direction.
But how will that pan out when one country shows no sign of letting slip its grip on the industry?
After all, Chinese steelmakers occupy nearly half of the top 125 places in this year's Top Steelmakers list, while US and European steelmakers, with the one notable exception, have continued their slide down the pecking order.
So how are things looking for the steel industry and what specific challenges will steelmakers have to overcome and opportunities are there on the horizon?
In a series of Top Steelmaker articles, Metal Bulletin’s correspondents around the world looked at the developments in their regional steel sectors through 2016 and consider the outlook for the industry in the year ahead.
North America expects growth
Mixed fortunes in the CIS region
European domestic steelmakers continue to fight low-priced imports
Asian market dominated by mega merger
Signs of optimism after tough 2016 in Latin America
Increasing production and protection in the Middle East
The articles listed above were first published in the June 2017 issue of Metal Bulletin Magazine, which carries in-depth feature articles, analysis and reviews of metal and steel markets.
Metal Bulletin's Top Steelmakers 2017 shows ArcelorMittal sitting on top of the pile, but barging in at number two, will China's mega-merger between Baosteel and Wugang herald a period of global consolidation?