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Key global role underlined as economies stutter

Strong, sustainable steel markets are vital as the pandemic continues to restrain growth. Latest shipment rates for HMS 80/20 from Europe to Turkey declined US$ 10 per tonne in October.    

Associations in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa have renewed their calls for governments of steel-producing economies to do more to support the sector. They told the latest meeting of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC) on 22 October of their ‘tremendous concern’ about steel overcapacity at a time when demand is severely depressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, reversing a trend of gradual decreases in overcapacity since the GFSEC was established in 2016.

The 20 associations, which include the American Iron and Steel Institute, Turkish Steel Producers and Eurofer, are particularly concerned about the risk of a potential destabilisation of international steel markets.
‘The scale and persistence of excess capacity in the steel industry calls for more ambition in the transparency and policy-related work of the GFSEC,’ they said. The call to arms urges governments participating in the forum to:

  • Develop stronger disciplines on industrial subsidies and other support measures that contribute to excess capacity and distort markets
  • Uphold effective trade remedies to ensure a level playing field driven by market forces and fair trade
  • Make a reliable forecast for steel demand in the markets where investments are to be made
  • Deepen the analysis of the drivers of steel capacity expansions to expose subsidised or non-market driven investments
  • Add value to the transparency work by developing open communication and information to the public
  • Communicate to G20 leaders on the need for expanded efforts to address the growing steel excess capacity crisis.

The associations also urges governments not in GFSEC to become involved. ‘Effectively addressing the global steel crisis is in the interest of all economies, steel producers, and steel consumers worldwide, and requires the active engagement of all G20 economies,’ they conclude.

Worldsteel roundup

The latest statistics from the World Steel Association (worldsteel) show that crude steel production in its 64 reporting countries rose 2.9% year-on-year in September to 156.4 million tonnes. Of that total, China produced 92.6 Million tonnes of crude steel in September, up 10.9% year-on-year. 

For the first nine months of 2020, China produced 781.6 million tonnes of steel, up 4.5% year-on-year. In comparison, steel output year to date is down in the EU (-17.9%), North America (-18.2%), Japan (-19.1%), and India (-16.5%).

Stay tuned! You can read the full market analysis in the upcoming issue of Recycling International.

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