China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, is considering an anti-dumping complaint over cheap steel imports from South Korea, Japan, China and India, while requesting the government to impose stricter controls on Chinese imports because of quality concerns.
China Steel, based in Siaogang District (小港), Greater Kaohsiung, said in an e-mailed statement issued on Tuesday that a recent influx of cheap steel imports had created a “chaotic” domestic market and that this “unfair trade practice” has depressed domestic steel prices.
In order to compete with the cheap imports, China Steel said it had been forced to lower domestic steel prices by a large amount for third-quarter deliveries, even though the company’s raw material costs would remain high in the quarter.
China Steel has cut domestic steel contract prices by about 5.88 percent for July-to-September shipments and the falling prices have had an impact on the company’s profitability last month.
In a separate statement issued on Tuesday, China Steel said its unaudited pretax profit was NT$2.07 billion last month, down 29.19 percent from the previous month, on revenue of NT$20.68 billion, down 3.15 percent from June.
The company — which normally sells about 70 percent of its products domestically — also saw its domestic shipments drop to 514,892 tonnes, or 67.47 percent of the total last month, from 547,462 tonnes, or 70.08 percent, in June, company data showed.
“China Steel is actively collecting relevant information and it is considering lodging an anti-dumping complaint against those cheap imports to maintain order in the domestic market and protect the interests of Taiwanese steelmakers,” the company said.
The company said its preliminary investigation revealed that South Korean companies had dumped steel plates and cold-rolled coils in Taiwan. Japanese firms had dumped electrical steel, Chinese companies boron-added steel plates and cold-rolled coils, and Indian firms steel plates, it said.
China Steel said these imported products were sold at levels well below market prices, causing Taiwan’s steelmakers to face losses amid unfair competition.
“China Steel has considered hiring lawyers to conduct an investigation into these imports,” the company said in the statement.
Meanwhile, China Steel said cheap boron-added steel plates imported from China had resulted in unfair competition in many countries, prompting Vietnam to slap a 10 percent import tax on these items beginning on Aug. 25.
The low-priced boron-added steel from China has also created safety concerns, as many low-quality products had been used in construction and public infrastructure projects, the company said.
“China Steel suggests that the government reinstate strict controls on steel plate imports from China, as well as a stricter quality standard for all imported steel plates to ensure the safety of the nation’s construction and public infrastructure projects,” it said.