South Korea’s steel exports fell by a large margin last month, caught in the crossfire of tariff war between the United States and China on top of a slowdown in emerging markets, according to the Korea Iron & Steel Association on Monday.
Korean exports of steel and steel products came to 2,433,459 tons in June, down 9.4 percent from 2,686,868 tons in May and 9 percent from the same month in 2017.
Steel exports in dollar terms reached $2.37 billion in the month, down 8.1 percent from $2.58 billion in May.
The market outlook for the second half is grimmer as U.S.-initiated protectionism is spreading across the globe.
The European Union decided to put a quota on Korean steel products under its safeguard plan from July 19.
Last week, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled several Asian countries including Korea dumped and subsidized some steel products and harmed Canadian steel producers.
China initiated its anti-dumping probe into steel products from Korea and three other countries.
This situation may deal a harsh blow to South Korea’s steel industry as it has explored EU and Canadian markets as an alternative to stave off U.S. pressure.
Canada is the third largest importer of steel products from Korea after the U.S. and China. The EU is the fourth with shipments of 3.5 million tons last year. Although spared of the 25-percent universal duties, Korean steel exports to the U.S. are capped at 2.68 million metric tons a year.