Basic Metals

Basic Metals

Domestic ore could not meet industrial demand, but the efficient metal-processing branch, which had developed some of the world's most advanced technologies, provided a firm foundation for the production of more advanced goods. State-owned firms (and firms in which the state owned a majority interest) led the development of metals production. The Rautaruukki works at Raahe in northern Finland, for example, was the main producer of iron and steel. The state and major engineering firms jointly owned the enterprise, an arrangement that ensured that the works responded well to the needs of industries using their products. The works remained profitable during the late 1970s and the early 1980s, a period marked by the decline of the European steel industries. This success was due not only to adept management but also to good labor relations. Likewise, the state-owned Outokumpu Group, which possessed flash-smelting technology that gave it a major advantage during the mid-1980s, controlled much nonferrous metals production. While most of Finland's iron and steel were used at home, most of its copper, zinc, and nickel were exported.

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