China exported 1.2m tons of steel during the first quarter of 2002, 33.9 per cent less then in the same period of 2001, according to statistics released by the State Economic and Trade Commission. Imports during the same period rose by 17.5 per cent year-on-year to reach 4.9m tons.
The commission attributed the fall in exports to conflicts between the world’s steel-producing countries, particularly the imposition of increased tariffs on steel imports by the US. It said imports rose because China had reduced tariffs and abolished import quotas, in accordance with its obligations to the World Trade Organisation.
Shanghai Baoshan Iron and Steel has urged the government to give it protection because of the surge in imported steel after the US actions taken in March. It also called for an investigation of the ‘serious impact’ of imported steel on the domestic industry.