China has steadfastly refused to be part of the solution to the global steel crisis, according to 10 leading steel industry associations, including EUROFER, Alacero and the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA).
While an OECD meeting between high-level government representatives from around the world and senior representatives from the global steel industry, convened in Brussels to address the overcapacity issue – to agree upon a number of steps to address the challenges facing the industry –China has distanced itself from a thrashed out plan of action to solve the problem.
One key element of the plan is to ensure that governments and government-supported institutions do not provide subsidies or other support that will sustain uneconomic or consistently loss-making steel plants; or encourage investment in additional capacity that would otherwise not be built.
In a joint statement, the 10 steel associations announced, “While we were disappointed that the Chinese government was unwilling at this time to join with other governments in a program of actions to address the global steel overcapacity problem, we are encouraged by the support of the governments of eight major steelmaking countries and regions to recommend steps to address excess capacity in the steel sector and eliminate market-distorting government subsidies and other support that promotes and sustains excess capacity in the steel sector, distorting competition.”
The steel associations urged the Chinese to ‘constructively participate’ in future OECD discussions at the OECD and elsewhere to ‘address the global steel overcapacity issue’.
China’s lack of support, claim the 10 steel associations, ‘prevented a broad agreement on these commitments’.