FOCUS: Chinese steelmakers brace for tough 2020 despite trade war truce

Chinese steel exporters are bracing for a tough year end and an equally challenging 2020, even as the trade war between China and the United States mellows after a truce reached in early October.

A source at a major steelmaker in eastern China expects the export market for Chinese steel to worsen in the months to come, even if the US holds off on increasing its tariffs on Chinese imports. “The truce will benefit exports in the long term, but there will be increasingly fiercer competition in the market because more and more countries are offering products at lower prices than China even before things pick up,” the source said. "The key factor is always price,” he added. China, which has been the world’s largest steel exporter over the past decade or so, sold some 75 million tonnes of finished steel products abroad in 2017. Chinese customs data showed these exports easing by 8.1% to 69.34 million tonnes in 2018 amid the US-China trade war, which started sometime earlier that year. While the Chinese government’s supply-side reforms that began in late 2015 were a major factor behind the...

Published

Miranda Song

November 01, 2019

05:40 GMT

Shanghai