In 2014, China's finished steel exports to the world registered an all-time high of 93.78 million tonnes, a sizzling jump of 50.5% year-on-year. Of the total, some 24 million tonnes of the products found their way into the markets of ASEAN, making the region the biggest destination of Chinese steel exports in that year.
China is by far the single most dominant source of import of steel products in ASEAN, accounting for almost half of the total volume of steel imports in the region in 2014. Among the steel products exported from China to ASEAN last year, steel bar registered the highest surge in volume, up 143% year-on-year to 6.7 million tonnes. Other major steel products exported from China to ASEAN in 2014 included wire rod (4.4 million tonnes), hot rolled coil (3.7 million tonnes) and coated steel (3 million tonnes).
Despite the action by the Chinese government to remove the export tax rebates on certain types of boron-containing steel effective 1 January 2015, China's shipment of finished steel overseas continued its relentless surge in the New Year. In the first month of 2015, China's finished steel exports hit a new high of 10.29 million tonnes, up 52.1% year-on-year, and surpassing the previous high of 10.17 million tonnes posted in December of 2014. Though the volume retreated to 7.8 million tonnes in February, the quantum was still an increase of 62.5% year-on-year. Moreover, the month of February had fewer working days due to the Lunar New Year holidays.
Although it is unlikely that China can continue to maintain its high levels of steel exports in the coming months, many quarters believe that China will still be able to record a significant volume of finished steel exports in 2015. In fact, a senior official of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) was recently quoted as saying that China would probably export 80 to 90 million tonnes of finished steel this year.
The impact of the Chinese steel exports to the rest of the world is not only felt in terms of their sheer volume but also the depressed prices for practically all steel products. Steel producers in many countries find it almost impossible to match the low prices without incurring losses.
How the Chinese steel industry performs this year will, therefore, has great impact on the steel industry across the globe. Thus it would be interesting to hear what Mr. Wu Wenzhang, President of SteelHome of China, has to say about "China Steel Market and Outlook" at the 2015 SEAISI Conference & Exhibition in Manila, Philippines this May. Delegates to the conference will also be updated on the latest steel development scenario in ASEAN as well as India.
To address the current issues confronting the steel industry, a session on "Strategic Challenges and Opportunities" will be organised on the opening day of the conference. Speakers from several leading research houses like CRU, Metal Bulletin Research, Platts and Wood Mackenzie are expected to share with the audience their takes on various issues of interest such as steel market developments, production cost, steel trade and steel prices.
The highlight of the four-day event is the Keynote Session on the opening day with the theme "Creating and Delivering Value in ASEAN Steel Industry". For the first time, three outstanding speakers from different regions of the world will share the stage to present their views on how to move the steel industry forward.
The speakers are Mr. T V Narendran, Managing Director of Tata Steel (India and South East Asia), Mr. Steve Hamer, Chief Executive of Arrium Steel Australia and Dr. Edwin Basson, Director General of World Steel Association. After the keynote presentations, the three speakers will participate in a CEO Panel Discussion to be moderated by Mr. Jason Ellis, General Manager of BlueScope Steel Australia and a Director of SEAISI. Joining the panel discussion will be a couple of prominent steel industry players from the ASEAN region.
Register now for the conference to take advantage of the early bird rate.