UK steel industry under pressure as global trade war heats up

 
Jessica Morris
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Tata is deciding the fate of its steelworks in Port Talbot (Source: Getty)

Analysts have warned that the UK steel industry will come under increasing pressure as a global trade war picks up pace.

It came after reports suggested South Korean steel giant Posco is mulling legal action against the US government for imposing duties of 57.04 per cent on some of its steel products.

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Investment bank Investec said in a note: "The trade war in the global steel industry is hotting up — and it is not all about China, despite massive Chinese overcapacity and resultant exports."

It continued: "It is difficult to see where this will end but former major steel producers such as the US and the UK have to decide if they wish to maintain a domestic steel industry or whether they wish to become totally dependent on imported steel."

The British government has repeatedly stressed its commitment to safeguarding the steel industry, following Indian conglomerate Tata Steel's decision to put its UK assets up for sale earlier this year.

Read more: Industry veteran to head firm formed from Tata's long products division

Gareth Stace, director of UK steel, told City A.M.: In the short-term, we are going to see more trade defence instruments being implemented by a range of countries."

He added that this trend will continue until the fundamental problem of overcapacity in the global steel industry is resolved.

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