Cheap Chinese imports killing local steel businesses: Colla Bros boss

The managing director of collapsed Griffith company Colla Bros has said that times are very difficult in the local steel fabrication industry

Ben
Trotter told the ABC that it had become a struggle to compete with shortened
import times from China, and manufacturers were “dying a slow death”.

“We are facing a lot of
competition from China, fabricated steel,” he told the ABC.

“We ourselves have been doing
it, the last 12 months.”

Colla Bros began in 1951 as a blacksmith’s,
and Trotter has been its managing director since 2004. He said there were several potential buyers for the company.

“I know for a fact, speaking to some of my colleagues in the industry, they themselves are facing huge pressures with costs and margins,” he said.

Trotter’s comments come shortly after Rheem announced that it would close its four-decade-old Welshpool solar water
heater factory in late 2015.

Among other factors, Rheem stated
that the strong Australian dollar and cheap imports had made things very
difficult.

Recently Walter Suber, vice president
of the Manufacturing and Engineering Institute of Australia, told Manufacturers’
Monthly
that for metal fabricators, “the
biggest issue is there’s a lot of business going offshore.

“And the volumes that there used to be
there pre-GFC are just not there.”

Image: sbengineering.org