China, steel producers fail to agree on deal

China fails to agree on deal with major steel producers to fix global crisis

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Rolled steel is seen after being treated on the pickle line at the Severstal steel mill in Dearborn, Michigan in this June 21, 2012

China and other major steel-producing countries failed on Monday to agree measures to tackle a global steel crisis as the sides argued over the causes of overcapacity and whether Beijing is keeping loss-making producers afloat.

A meeting of ministers and trade officials from over 30 countries, hosted by Belgium and the OECD, sought to tackle excess capacity, but concluded only that it had to be dealt with in a swift and structural way.

The OECD said global steelmaking capacity was 2.37 billion tonnes in 2015, but declining production meant that only 67.5 percent of that was being used, down from 70.9 percent in 2014.

Britain in particular has felt the squeeze as its largest producer Tata Steel has announced plans to pull out of the country, threatening 15,000 jobs.

At a news conference following Monday's meeting, deep divisions were clear.

China's assistant commerce minister, Zhang Ji, countered accusations that Beijing subsidises steel exporters, saying that China had cut 90 million tonnes of capacity and had plans to reduce it by a further 100-150 million tonnes.

TRTWorld, Reuters