HKDSE Geography/M3/China's Iron and Steel Industry Before the 1950s

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Characteristics[edit]

The iron and steel industry is a weight-losing processing industry. The procurement costs are higher than the distribution costs. To be exact, it is:

  • Raw material-oriented: Iron ore was used to produce pig iron in a blast furnace, which would then be converted into steel in a steel furnace.
  • Power-oriented: Coal was burnt in large amounts to produce energy for the production of iron and steel.

Therefore, China's iron and steel plants tended to be located near these plants.

Distribution[edit]

  • In the Northeast, particularly Anshan
  • In the eastern coastal cities, particularly Shanghai

Factors[edit]

Favourable factor Explanation
Raw materials
  • Anshan iron ore fields
  • Ma'anshan iron ore fields
Power
  • Fushun and Fuxin provided coal for Anshan
  • Huainan area produced coal for Shanghai
Transport, infrastructure and amenities
  • During the occupation of treaty ports in eastern China by Western powers and of Northeast China by Russia and Japan, infrastructure and transport networks such as railway were developed intensively. Therefore, it was convenient to develop manufacturing there.
Labour
  • Coastal cities were densely populated and provided a huge labour supply for the industry.
Land
  • Coastal flat land provide ample space for expansion.
Market/Agglomeration economies
  • The ship-building industry in Dalian and car manufacturing industry in Shenyang and Chanchun provided great demand for steel in Liaoning.