the Problems Faced by Import and Export Steel Market in 2016.
Review 2015, steel production reached at 98.272 million tons, rose 10.4%, accounted 8.9% for overall steel production , over about 8.5% in the normal range. So we can see that the steel pipe production growth rate higher than the overall steel production. But compared to 2014,steel pipe exportation reduced, the total steel pipe exportation was 9.29 million tons, accounted 8.27% for overall steel products exportation 112.4 million tons. Steel pipe exports fell of 0.97%. Steel pipe importation total 373 thousand tons, accounted 2.92% for overall steel products importation 12.78 million tons. Steel pipe imports fell of 21.42%.Acoording to the import reduction situation, China’s high quality pipe self-sufficiency rate gradually increased.
In the view of steel type, welded pipe production 69.655 million tons in 2015, rose 20.98%, total exportation 4.7422 million tons, rose 670.9 thousand tons/16.46% compared to 2014; welded pipe importation 187.1 thousand tons, reduced 6.03%;Despite the increase in the amount of import and export, but the growth rate is less than the production.
So the welded pipe supply was still excess because of demand limited. For seamless pipe, total production 28.575 million tons in 2015, reduced 8.91%. Total exportation 4.5492 million tons, reduced 14.4%.The reduction manly because of seamless oil well pipe, reduced total 622 thousand tons compared to 2014; total importation 185.9 thousand tons, reduced 32.91%, which shows the situation is more serious.
n the view of area, welded pipe exports mainly concentrated in North China, accounted 49.66% for total exports, rose 3.37% compared to 2014.Seamless pipe exports concentrated in the North and East China，accounted more than half for the total exports. The main reason is the most domestic mills located in North and East China，plus geographical advantages, constitute a good condition for export. On the side of importation, welded pipe and seamless pipe mainly imported from Germany, Korea, Japan, Russia and so on. So in the view of High technology pipe, there is certain distance between China and Germany, China and Japan.
Facing 2016, the first year of 45 years planning, as well as further promote innovation and development, to accelerate the transformation and upgrading, means steel industry enterprises need to enter the new stage of adjustment.Pproduct structure and product grades adjustment also the most important. On one hand, take the chances in China, on the other hand, explore the international market actively. Whether the import and export situation can be improved, we still will face main points as bellows:
1. The international crude oil prices continued to decline. 2015 global oil benchmark Brent average prices for USD 53.6/barrel. Declined 46.11%; 2016 January European crude oil futures settlement price below USD 30,it’s the first time in 12 years below USD 30.WTI hit USD 29.42, it’s undoubtedly negative factors for steel pipe exportation, especially for Seamless pipe like a huge hit. For 15 years, seamless steel pipe reduction is mainly affected by this. And short-term oil prices to rebound sharply, natural gas pipelines and other demand remains in the doldrums, especially seamless pipe exports resistance still exist.
2. Export enterprises scattered uneven, from the point of view of the total domestic exports, although the main focus area is clear, overall export enterprises don’t located together. For example like seamless pipe mill, there are more than 4 thousand enterprises which export volume less than 1000 tons, most of them are trading company, not seamless steel pipe mills. So you can see that the export prices are not stable, complex situation and also not good for export.
3. Industry should make efforts on adjustment. State-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign mergers and acquisitions phenomena have occurred from time to time. In December 15 China Yulong steel pipe(Lecky investment company) in the east of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, 50kilometers of Lekki Free Trade Zone held foundation stone laying ceremony and an annual output of 5 million tons of steel pipe factory groundbreaking. The factory will fill the Nigeria gas and oil pipeline production black, to provide better service needs for the coutry.
4. Steel anti-dumping dynamics is still increasing. 15 years of global trade in steel pipe initiated trade investigation dozens.2015 February 13 , WTO published in Europe and Japan v.China high-quality seamless steel pipe anti dumping measures dispute case report of the expert group.2015 September 8, Indonesia on the import of finished products of tubing and casing to make measure to review the final security; 2015 November 26. Canada make double reverse preliminary on Chinese carbon steel pipe and alloy steel pipe, and so on. 2016 the anti-dumping is still ongoing, Vietnam take anti-dumpling investigation to China and South Korea imported galvanized steel pipe to; Brazil decided for period of six months temporary anti-dumping duties to Chinese carbon steel;India released anti-dumping preliminary investigation on to Chinese seamless steel pipe and so on, which bring much pressure of exportation.
5. The level of domestic technology needs to be improved, although in the past five years ,the domestic high-end tube imports gradually reduce the proportion of, Chinese steel imports average fell 17.24%,from the average price of the import and export of the point of view, the difference is pulled further big. So the steel enterprises in technological innovation stage still greater breakthrough in space.
Summary, in 2016 the steel pipe import and export challenges and opportunities coexist, I the domestic demand is difficult to pick up in the short term. More and more enterprises have opened the international market, we must pay attention to the current situation.
Around the needs of downstream industry, and gradually adjust the structure, improved products quality, promote the steel pipe products out of the country.