From August 1st, the export tariffs on ferrochrome and high-purity pig iron have been appropriately increased, and the export tax rebates for 23 kinds of steel products have been cancelled.

What signal does the steel tariff increase again?

  Our reporter Zhou Lei

  On July 29, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council issued an announcement that from August 1 this year, the export tariffs of ferrochrome and high-purity pig iron will be appropriately increased, and the export tax rates of 40% and 20% will be implemented after adjustments.

The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation also jointly issued an announcement that starting from August 1, 2021, export tax rebates for 23 types of steel products will be cancelled.

  This is the second time my country has adjusted tariffs on steel products this year.

Previously, in order to better guarantee the supply of steel resources and promote the high-quality development of the steel industry, my country’s tariff adjustment measures include a temporary zero import of pig iron, crude steel, recycled steel raw materials, ferrochrome and other products from May 1 this year. Appropriately increase the export tariffs of ferrosilicon, ferrochrome, high-purity pig iron and other products, and implement 25% export tariffs, 20% temporary export tariffs, and 15% temporary export tariffs after adjustments; cancel export tax rebates for some steel products.

  Wang Jing, a researcher at the Lange Iron and Steel Research Center, analyzed that compared with the cancellation of the export tax rebate for 146 steel products including hot-rolled plates and pipes in May, the export tax rebate for 23 steel products including cold-rolled and oriented silicon steel was further cancelled this time.

At the same time, the export tariffs on ferrochrome and high-purity pig iron have been further increased compared to before.

  "The newly introduced tariff adjustment measures are in line with my country's iron and steel industry's industry positioning of'mainly satisfying domestic demand, not export-oriented', and further strengthen the national policy orientation." said Chen Ziqi, deputy secretary general of the Expert Academic Committee of China International Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd. .

  my country is the world's largest steel producer and consumer.

Since the beginning of this year, the demand for steel has grown strongly, and the production and sales of enterprises have been booming.

In the first half of this year, the national output of pig iron, crude steel, and steel was 456 million tons, 563 million tons, and 698 million tons, respectively, up 4.0%, 11.8%, and 13.9% year-on-year; it is estimated that the apparent consumption of crude steel is equivalent to 537 million tons. A year-on-year increase of 10.2%.

  From the perspective of the import and export of steel products, with the changes in the situation of overseas epidemic prevention and control and the recovery of international market demand, the price of steel in international markets such as Europe and the United States has soared, driving a significant increase in the export volume of my country's steel products.

According to customs statistics, in the first half of the year, my country exported 37.38 million tons of steel, a year-on-year increase of 30.2%; imported steel 7.35 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 0.1%.

  "Exporting low-end steel products is equivalent to exporting resources and energy in disguise. Ferrochrome is a high-energy-consuming product. The export of such products has increased domestic energy consumption and carbon emission reduction pressure." Chen Ziqi said that my country currently needs to produce ferrochrome. The chrome ore resources in China basically come from foreign countries. Importing high-priced chrome ore to produce high-energy-consuming ferrochrome does not make much money from exporting. Instead, it consumes energy and leaves pollution and carbon emissions to oneself. The gain is not worth the loss.

  It is reported that the steel industry is the industry with the largest carbon emissions among the 31 categories of manufacturing, accounting for about 15% of the country's total emissions.

In order to achieve the goal of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, the steel industry must unswervingly follow the path of high-quality, reduced-quantity development.

At the beginning of this year, relevant state departments clearly stated that steel production will be reduced this year.

  The industry generally believes that in order to ensure the balance of domestic steel supply and demand, promote green development, encourage the import of primary steel products, reduce the export of steel products, and support the reduction of domestic crude steel production, it is necessary to carry out corresponding tariff adjustments.

In May and June of this year, my country's steel export volume dropped from the peak levels in March and April, reflecting the impact of the country's cancellation of certain steel tax rebates and other related policies and measures.

However, because the prices in overseas markets are significantly higher than those in the domestic market, companies are more willing to export, and steel export quotations have obvious advantages. my country's steel exports are still relatively large.

Under this circumstance, my country has once again adjusted steel tariffs.

Relevant industry analysts predict that the scope of the cancellation of export tax rebates will weaken the price competitiveness of related steel products exports; the increase in the export tariffs of ferrochrome and high-purity pig iron will affect the export orders of related companies.

  "Compared with the past, the adjustment of steel tariffs and export tax rebates has been significantly increased, especially the elimination of export tax rebates for products such as cold-rolled coils, coated plates, oriented silicon steel plates, steel rails, and petroleum pipes with high technical content and added value. , To release to the market the policy signal of “strive to reduce steel exports and resolutely reduce steel output”, and to effectively guide industry expectations with practical actions, which is conducive to the transformation of the steel industry to high-quality development.” Chen Ziqi emphasized that under the background of accelerating the construction of a new development pattern The development of key industries such as iron and steel must better serve the national strategic needs. Reducing exports and compressing output are also the pains that the iron and steel industry needs to bear in the process of transformation.

Zhou Lei