Nothing like pointing out the obvious, so it was with a chuckle that I read a report in GlobalAutoIndustry from Xinhua News that The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) has denied rumors of an increase in steel export taxes this past weekend. Apparently, this is pretty scandalous stuff, “some media reports, which speculated that export taxes on more than 80 types of steel products might be raised by 5 to 10 percent as of June 1, had ‘disordered the industry’s normal production and exports,’ the CISA said in a statement on its website.” Apparently this top secret information “went against the stability of the economy and the ongoing quake-relief work”.
Umm, excuse me, but are we at all surprised or shocked at this top secret leak over export tax increases? I mean, they sort of have been increasing since 2005. Since this blog went live in December of 2007, we’ve covered this juicy news story many times: here, here and here. Actually, there are a few more articles on the topic, but you get my point. The article goes on to show the actual drops in steel exports coming from China.
However I will share the one little interesting nugget from the article – in the first four months of 2008, “China sold 1.79 million tons of rolled steel to Vietnam,” a 66% increase. As a comparison, China exported 1.51 million tons of rolled steel to the EU during those same four months and 997,000 tons to the US. Me thinks it’s time to check out Vietnam.