The huge surge in export of low-priced steel products from China has become a big problem for steel players in the world. This has led to many countries instituting trade measures against China’s steel exports, including ASEAN. Despite these measures, China’s steel exports to ASEAN continued to increase, especially the export of alloyed steel. For example, export of alloyed bar to ASEAN more than doubled in volume in 2014, compared with 2013.
While much attention is now focused on China’s steel exports, the export of steel structure from China, though smaller in volume compared to steel, should not be overlooked as the volume has been increasing rapidly over the years. According to data from China Customs, China’s total export of steel structure jumped from 603,000 tonnes in 2000 to 6.5 million tonnes in 2014, an increase of almost elevenfold. In the case of China’s export of steel structure to ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), it has increased even more significantly, from 50,700 tonnes in 2000 to1.1 million tonnes in 2014.
Export of steel scaffolding from China to ASEAN, in particular, increased significantly, from 3,200 tonnes in 2000 to 156,000 tonnes in 2014. Major destinations of scaffolding export from China to ASEAN in 2014 were Singapore (39,000 tonnes), Malaysia (32,000 tonnes), Thailand (31,500 tonnes) and Indonesia (16,700 tonnes).
China’s export of steel towers to the region jumped from 5,500 tonnes in 2000 to 60,000 tonnes in 2014. Major destinations in 2014 were Myanmar (29,000 tonnes), Philippines (14,700 tonnes), Malaysia (5,600 tonnes), Laos (4,700 tonnes) and Indonesia (4,000 tonnes).
Export of steel bridges from China to ASEAN also increased significantly, from 7,400 tonnes in 2000 to 24,000 tonnes in 2014. Major destinations of bridges export from China in 2014 were Myanmar at, 10,000 tonnes, Indonesia, at 5,700 tonnes, followed by Vietnam, at 2,750 tonnes and Malaysia at 549 tonnes.
The bulk of the steel structure export from China to ASEAN, however, came in under the category of ‘Other steel structure’ comprising of 1) prefabricated modular type joined by shear connectors, 2) corrugated, curved or bent galvanized plates for assembly into underground conduits and culverts, 3) parts of tubes or tunnels, made of formed and bended corrugated sheet of iron or steel, 4) rails for ships and 5) other.
China’s export of ‘other steel structure’ to ASEAN registered a significant volume of 880,000 tonnes in 2014, compared to 32,700 tonnes in 2000. Major destinations in 2014 were Vietnam (242,000 tonnes), Indonesia (233,000 tonnes), Singapore (128,000 tonnes), Malaysia (89,000 tonnes) and Philippines (78,000 tonnes).