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and Business Economics
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Facts and Figures
Important basis for the success of the steel industry
Foreign trade is very important for the steel industry. The steel industry in Germany, however, is subject to unfair competition as a result of the massive expansion in the market share of third-country suppliers that often have an unfair advantage. The German Steel Federation thus supports the retention of instruments that protect fair trade.
Facts and figures on foreign trade in steel
Foreign trade is an important cornerstone for the economic success of the steel industry. Germany exported a total of about 23 m. tonnes of rolled steel last year. Three-quarters of Germany’s foreign trade in steel involved trade within the EU. Steel has a positive balance when imports and exports are compared: the steel industry in Germany exported almost one million tonnes more than it imported in 2012.
Competition becomes more intense
The intensity of competition on the markets, however, is continuing to increase. The German market, in particular, is increasingly competitive due to the comparatively solid position of the processing sectors. Increasing overcapacities in many regions of the world amplify this trend. In addition, third-country suppliers, in particular, can expand their market share in Europe enormously through, for example, dumping practices.
The steel industry needs open markets
With growing competitive pressure, many third countries are increasing their efforts to create artificial competitive advantages for their domestic steel industries. Examples for this increasing protectionism include targeted import duties, import licence systems or the preferential treatment of domestic producers when awarding public contracts. Emergent industrial nations, such as China or India, are especially prominent in this regard. The steel industry in Germany is resolutely against such protectionist measures. They represent a double burden for it – not only are its own exports to third countries made more difficult, but there is an increased diversion of trade flows into the EU.
The German Steel Federation supports the retention of trade protection instruments. Antidumping and anti-subsidy measures offer the only possibility for protecting the open EU market from price dumping.