A report on the BBC website claims that UK-based steelmakers Tata and Celsa, which employ over 7,500 people in Wales, are making a stand on cheap foreign steel imports which are causing the industry to stagnate.
The BBC’s Wales business correspondent, Brian Meechan, claims that cheap imported steel from China is being used instead of UK steel.
It’s a familiar story echoed in other parts of the world, namely in the USA and the EU, where the key objective is to establish a level playing field to enable domestic steel producers to compete on an equal footing to those operating in countries like China where financial incentives are provided by the government to steelmakers who then export their products and compete unfairly with indigenous producers who have higher energy costs and business rates to contend with.
While UK steel production in 2013 was looking promising, it leveled off in 2014 with a rise in steel output of just 0.2%. Imports now account for 60% of the market and the director of UK Steel, Ian Rodgers, wants to UK Government to ‘act vigorously’.