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Industry group wants to bar furnace imports from China

The ASEAN Iron and Steel Council (AISC) has called on governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to stop the importation of induction furnaces to produce carbon steel products from China.

In a statement, AISc said there were over 600 induction furnace manufacturers in China which were involved in the production of sub-standard steel in its country.

The industry group added these Chinese induction furnaces factories produced 30 to 50 million tons in 2016.

AISc said that these sub-standard induction furnaces had no capability to remove harmful elements in the liquid steel resulting in inconsistent quality of steel products they produced.

“As far back as 2002, the Chinese government had already raised its concern over the existence of these establishments; many of them were operating illegally in various parts of the country,” the industry group said.

It added that Chinese government strictly prohibited movement of the facilities of these sub-standard furnaces producers in other regions of China. However, it did not restrict the export of induction furnaces, which could have an impact to ASEAN.

AISC adds that ASEAN is a preferred destination of these obsolete equipment from China, citing Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand have reported increased imports of this equipment.

“Our main concern arising from the above development is that ASEAN could become a dumping ground for these obsolete and outdated machinery and equipment, which, because of their inherent technology limitations and constraints, could adversely impact the orderly development of the iron and steel industry in the region,” AISC stressed.

Aside from producing sub-standard steels, these induction furnaces also consume more electricity and are not environmentally friendly.

AISC has sought for governments of ASEAN to prohibit imports of induction furnaces from China for the purpose of producing carbon steel products.

But it said that inbound shipment of induction furnaces could be permitted for limited purposes such as for foundry industry that used induction furnaces as a melting equipment to produce various types of casting products, production of ferroalloys with specific properties, and stainless steel and high alloy steel production process.

Kris Crismundo / PNA