In order that the powder forging process shall gain a high sales volume it must be cost effective. The price of steel powder is thus critical. This price can be kept to a minimum only if the number of specifications produced is at a minimum. The paper reviews the historical development of the powder forging process, shows why the chemical compositions in use were chosen and proposes international recognition of the current situation. Possibilities for future development are mentioned but a note of caution is sounded that whatever course is followed must have sound economic as well as technical justification.