Baosteel recently come out with its next six-year plan (2013-18), under which aluminium products and ‘going global’ are key words.

Baosteel's previous six-year plan for 2007-12 focused on expanding scale as the entire industry did. Further expansion is not key to the new plan but the Company plans an eventual production capacity of 58Mt, including a future contribution from the Guangdong-based Zhanjiang project presently under slow construction.

Xu Lejiang, chairman of Baosteel said "We are going to increase the added-value of our products through internet business, building an '' for the steel sector.”

Baosteel has discussed with its automotive clients such as Volkswagen and GE, who suggest the Company provide lighter and stronger products for auto manufacturing. Baosteel concludes that these automakers are looking for ‘functions’ not necessarily provided by steel.

Baosteel is talking with Chinalco to seek for cooperation on making aluminium automotive materials.
Going global is another major strategic targets in the next six years. It aims to sell 80% of its products to overseas markets by 2018. "Our silicon steel and cold-rolled thin sheets are quite competitive on the global market," said Wu Jun of the Strategy Department at Baosteel.

Baosteel is looking for a local partner to build a plant in the USA to produce automotive materials for the US market. The USA is the largest consumer of thin steel sheets, consuming 17Mt a year before 2008. The figure almost halved to 9Mt during the financial crisis but rebounded to 14Mt in 2012.

Source: China Metals e-mail