Platts Steel Markets Europe conference was held less than a week after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, but that historical decision paled in comparison to concerns around the ongoing influence of China on European steel markets. Overcapacity, imports, the efficacy or otherwise of trade measures, and whether or not China should acquire Market Economy Status, were the perennial topics revisited this year at the event held in Barcelona. “China is the bull in the porcelain shop – when it moves it can do a lot of damage,” said Laurent Plasman, head of operational marketing at ArcelorMittal, summing up the feelings of most in the room. Notwithstanding the anti-dumping duties placed on some Chinese steel imports by the European Commission this year, many steel industry participants believed the organization was not tough enough. “EU producers are competing on an uneven playing field; I believe we can convince the EC to act,” Tata Steel Europe’s chief commercial officer Henrik Adam said, noting that steel trade flows had risen 53% in just 10 years mainly due to Chinese exports. Günter Luxemburger, chief sales officer of German heavy plate producer Dillinger, said imports of quarto plate from China had been
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Source: CTRM Center