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Malaysian steel millers seek govt help to deal with trade practices by China firms

Publication Date : 09-06-2014

 

Local steel millers will seek help from the government to file trade remedy measures over alleged “unfair trade practices” of some Chinese steel manufacturers.

These manufacturers had allegedly exploited the loopholes in the China tax structure to take advantage of an export rebate of nine per cent to 13 per cent by declaring their exports to Malaysia as alloy instead of steel.

According to Malaysia Iron and Steel Federation (Misif) president Soh Thian Lai, many of the steel wire rods imported by Malaysia from China had only 0.0008 per cent alloy contents and were declared as alloy steel.

“High quality alloy steel from China which was exported to Malaysia fetched about 6,000 ringgit (US$1,887) per tonne in 2009 but the price came down drastically to 2,000 ringgit ($626) per tonne last year. So, with such a low price, it could not be the same or ‘real’ alloy steel,” he told StarBiz recently.

Last year, Soh said Malaysia imported 924,000 tonnes of steel wire rods, out of which 80 per cent was from China. Malaysia also imported 302,000 tonnes of steel bar mostly from China, and 630,000 tonnes of section steel bar in 2013.

He said China exported to Malaysia close to 1.83 million tonnes of steel products – mostly long products – last year.

Soh said Misif was providing support to local steel millers who were also getting assistance from Malaysia Steel Institute to get the government’s help to file trade remedy measures over the unfair trade practices.

Misif has some 140 members mostly in the midstream and downstream sectors, with several upstream steel players.

Ann Joo Resources Bhd group managing director Lim Hong Thye had said that domestic steel millers were joining his company to petition the international trade and industry ministry before the end of this month for more stringent guidelines to check dumping activities by the China steel millers,

According to Lim, although Miti had imposed a 25 per cent import duty on steel from China, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia, some Chinese steel millers were circumventing the system.

Lim said what they would be asking from the authorities was trade remedy rather than trade protection.

Soh said Misif was already working with upstream steel millers to prepare a paper to the Malaysian government to look into the boron-added steel issue.

“We encourage the imports of genuine alloy steel for the automotive industry as we are not capable of producing them,” said Soh, who is also flat steel products’ manufacturer YKGI Holdings Bhd group managing director

He said the alloy steel products imported by Malaysia were mainly for the construction industry.

 

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