China takes credit for rising steel prices, says it played its role

China has said its efforts to lower domestic steel production and bolster local demand at the same time had contributed to the recent rise in global prices.

A ministry of commerce spokesman said that China had participated in the progress as the government had taken unprecedented steps to cut supply, Chinese media reported.

“Apart from limits on capacity, we are taking comprehensive measures to expand domestic demand for steel,” spokesman Shen Danyang was quoted as saying.

China’s infrastructure construction is still in progress and it would further boost steel demand, Shen said.

Global steel prices have risen 20 percent from the start of the year to $365/ton in April after a spectacular collapse last year that was triggered by a slowing Chinese economy and huge over capacities that flowed into the international markets at cut-throat prices.

China has been severely criticised by several countries for dumping cheap steel into their markets, threatening domestic steel makers and many, including India, have imposed stringent anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel products.

The Chinese government said in February that it plans to reduce domestic steel production by 150 million tons over the next five years.

 

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