On Wednesday April 28, China’s ministry of finance announced that, in order to better guarantee the supply of steel resources and promote the high-quality development of the domestic steel industry, the import tariff for certain steel products originating from outside the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), including square billet, was to be reduced from 2% to zero from May 1.
This meant that steelmakers from outside of the Asean region had to price their product 2% below Asean producers to remain competitive in the Chinese market.
“This [import duty cut] is certainly a likely business possibility for CIS and Turkish suppliers to sell billets to China,” a Europe-based trader said.
At the same time, the East Asian country also removed export tax rebates on a number of steel products
, including rebar.
In addition to the positive effect on prices, market participants expected that these changes would lead...