Brussels, 6 March 2017 – Ahead of the OECD Steel Committee meeting being held later this month, the European Steel Association (EUROFER) has warned that the explosive growth in exports from third countries, such as Iran, India, South Korea, Turkey and others, risks undermining the progress made in deploying trade defence tools to stabilise the industry against massive dumping from China.
“Imports now make up a share of 25% of the EU market, with imports having risen by 9% in the second half of 2016. This is a record high, despite the impact of trade defence measures in reducing the volume of Chinese imports into the EU. Chinese imports are being replaced by those from other countries. For example, Iranian exports of steel to the EU were 117,000 tonnes in 2012. They have since exploded to 1.1 million tonnes in 2016. This is a nearly ten-fold increase”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER.
This flood of imports is happening at the same time as the global players in the steel market are beginning to come together to combat global overcapacity in steel production.
“As an open market, the EU has been targeted by foreign exporters of cheap, often unfairly dumped steel”, said Mr Eggert. “This is one of the reasons EUROFER looks to the Commission to utilise the tools available to it to defend the steel industry from dumping from other countries. The point the Commission must remember is: it’s not just China”.
“The global market is suffering from perhaps 700 million tonnes of global overcapacity. We can only expect the number of cases of dumping to increase as third countries attempt to offload their excess production”, added Mr Eggert.
“The European Commission, in undertaking its role as the operator of Europe’s trade defence tools has managed to cool off the massive surge of Chinese exports to the EU that flooded the market in 2015-2016. However, it must also tackle the rise of dumped imports from other countries – which is a real and growing threat to the future of the European steel industry. Foreign trading partners cannot be permitted to seek profit by circumventing the rules of free and fair trade at Europe’s expense”, concluded Mr Eggert.
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About the European steel industry
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 320,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.