EU ambassador to China urges it to do more to cut steel output

The EU ambassador to China urged it to do more to curb the slew of steel which is flooding global markets and causing widespread pain in the industry.

Speaking at a briefing, Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, said its current measures to address overcapacity were “not going quite far enough”.

“Overcapacity, especially in the steel sector, is one of the issues which needs to be dealt with very urgently. This is something which cannot wait,” he said.

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European steel association Eurofer added that the current cuts wouldn’t be enough to deal with an anticipated rise in China’s future steel output.

“The country’s overcapacity is presently in the order of 400m tonnes – more than twice the total EU demand. China has announced capacity reductions of 150m tonnes,” Charles de Lusignan, communications manager of Eurofer, said.

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However, Chinese steel demand is forecast to contract by around 200m tonnes by 2020, meaning net overcapacity in China is still expected to grow. This is why much more needs to be done, as present plans for Chinese steel industry overcapacity reduction would, at best, be treading water,” he added.

China-led overcapacity in steel markets has driven down prices, helping to cripple steel producers across Europe. Its currently seeking market economy status from the World Trade Organisation, a move which will make it harder to bring anti-dumping measures against it, and officials have warned this could kill the industry.

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