Stainless Steel Pipe Imports From China Rise

U.S. tube trade organization says China holds 'unfair' competitive advantage

Chinese seamless stainless steel pipe and tube imports increased nearly 20% in the first two months of 2009 over the year-earlier period, the Stainless Steel Tube Trade Advancement Committee (SSTAC) reported May 26.

The committee noted that, despite the significant recession in the United States, imports of stainless steel pipe and tube showed substantial growth in early 2009 over 2008.

"Despite the substantial economic downturn globally and in the United States, imports from China increased almost 20 percent in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008," said David Hartquist, the SSTTAC's legal counsel. China remains by far the largest foreign supplier of the material produced by our member companies, accounting for nearly half of total imports. Chinese producers are also moving into high-nickel seamless tubing."

Hartquist added, "Chinese pricing remains substantially below that of other significant foreign and domestic producers. With an average unit value of $8,000 a ton for small diameter seamless stainless tubing, Chinese producers may well be dumping their product in our market. The Chinese government provides a wide range of subsidies to Chinese steel producers, including undervaluation of their currency, the yuan, at roughly 35%. This is unfair competition."

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