The European Union’s call to step up measures on imports of Chinese steel products
will not solve the problems facing the global steel industry, but will affect the international trade order, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Monday (21 March).
“The whole global steel industry is going through pains due to weak economic recovery and cooling demand… The real reason for the EU’s steel industry’s difficulty is shrinking competitiveness,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The European Commission announced plans on 16 March to speed up trade defence cases against cheap imports from China, and urged EU member states to end measures that could block higher duties on dumped and subsidised products.
European steelmakers hit by a plunge in steel prices have blamed the drop on a surge in cheap exports from China, where a decline in domestic demand has occurred amid overcapacity in the sector.
Chinese steelmakers have been unable to increase overseas sales, which hit a record 112 million tonnes in 2015, because of the investigations into Chinese steel products and weaker demand from overseas buyers.
Steel exports dropped 1.3 percent to 17.85 million tonnes for the first two months of this year, customs data showed on Monday.
In February, EU regulators opened three anti-dumping investigations into Chinese steel products and imposed new duties on imports, following calls for action from the EU steel industry.
Top Chinese officials said on Sunday (20 March) that the economy was showing signs of improvement, while capital outflows from the county were moderating.