China blamed as OECD steel overcapacity discussions continue

An OECD steel committee meeting, attended by assistant science minister Karen Andrews and including 30 of the world’s biggest steelmaking nations, has heard advice that the current glut be addressed promptly.

According to OECD figures, global capacity was 2.37 billion tonnes of steel in 2015, but only 67.5 per cent of this was being used.

Steel dumping is under the spotlight in many countries – including Australia where steelmaker Arrium is under administration and the Anti-Dumping Commission examining the issue – and some, such as the US, are blaming China.

The message heard at the OECD meeting was that the glut needed action, and support should be ended for unviable operators, Andrews said. Further meetings will be held tonight, Australian time.

“Views were put very strongly that governments should not be propping up inefficient producers, but should be helping them exit,” Andrews told The Australian Financial Review.

Chinese representatives warned that a decrease in capacity would have repercussions for raw materials providers.

The US has been critical of China’s overcapacity, reports Reuters, and warned of possible action from trading partners.

“The United States will continue to engage bilaterally and multilaterally with trading partners, including China, to take meaningful action to meet [the capacity cutting] goal,” Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.