The Global Awards for Steel Excellence shine a spotlight on the groundbreaking innovations in the global steel industry.

“This year’s winners are a testament to the creativity, passion and perseverance of the global steel supply chain,” said Fastmarkets CEO Raju Daswani. “We are honored to celebrate truly exceptional thought leaders and organizations in the steel industry for their remarkable work to drive innovation and growth.”

This year’s panel of esteemed judges chose the “best of the best” from across the steel supply chain. The awards recognized all aspects of innovation, from strategy to distribution and from sustainability to diversity. In addition to the winners of 24 categories, also recognized was Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, who was named Advocate of the Year for his long-time leadership within the steel industry. 

Mr. Goncalves joined Cleveland-Cliffs in August 2014 and has since designed and led the company through a major strategic initiative, transforming it into a leading player in the U.S. steel industry. Starting with a complete financial turnaround, this was followed by growth initiatives in the metallics market and the entry into the steel business. 

In 2017 Cleveland-Cliffs started construction in Toledo, Ohio, of the world’s most modern direct reduction plant, which started operations in November 2020. Mr. Goncalves led the acquisition of AK Steel in March 2020, followed by the acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA in December 2020. With these two major acquisitions, Cleveland-Cliffs became the largest flat-rolled steel company and the largest iron ore pellet producer in the United States and in North America, holding an industry-leading market position in automotive steel. With the Toledo plant, the company became the sole producer, in the Great Lakes region, of hot briquetted iron (HBI), an environmentally friendly metallic feedstock designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Early this year, Cleveland-Cliffs acquired Ferrous Processing & Trading Co, adding one of the biggest producers and distributors of scrap to its arsenal. According to Mr. Goncalves, steel ‘will continue to be the backbone of the new economy, just as it was in the old … .’

Winners of the 2021 Global Awards for Steel Excellence are:

Automotive Supplier of the Year: Nucor Corp 
Best Innovation - Process: ArcelorMittal Hamilton Research and Development
Best Innovation - Product: Big River Steel  
Best Mergers & Acquisitions: Target Metal Blanking  
Best Operational Improvements: Majestic Steel USA 
Environmental Responsibility Stewardship: SSAB Americas
Exchange Company of the Year: SGX  
Ferrous Futures Trading Company of the Year: Flack Global Metals 
Financial Services Provider of the Year: Bank of America  
Legal Services Provider of the Year: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP 
Logistics/Transportation Provider of the Year: Ryder System Inc 
Raw Materials Consumables Provider of the Year: Cronimet Envirotec GmbH 
Production/Processors/Fabricators: Ferragon Corp 
Scrap Company - Large - North America: Ferrous Processing and Trading  
Scrap Company - Small to Midsize - North America: Southern Recycling LLC 
Scrap Company - EMEA: RKG International FZC  
Scrap Equipment Company of the Year: Wendt Corp 
Service Center - Large: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co  
Service Center - Small to Midsize: Jemison Metals 
Steel Producer - North America: Steel Dynamics Inc  
Technology Provider of the Year: Aveva 
Tube & Pipe Producer of the Year: Webco Industries 
Workforce Diversity Champion: SSAB Americas

The winners of the Global Awards for Steel Excellence were announced during the Steel Success Strategies conference presented annually by Fastmarkets and World Steel Dynamics and attended by leaders in the global steel industry.  

For additional information, please reach out to Katharine Kellar at