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China steel imports surge 150% in 2020 on economic stimulus boost

Asian producers reap big benefits but supply glut fears persist

A man works at Hoa Phat steel mill in Vietnam, a country that has seen its steel exports to China increase by a factor of nine.   © Reuters

TOKYO/HANOI -- China's imports of steel increased by 150% to 38.56 million tons in 2020, according to the country's customs agency, as its producers struggled to keep up with surging demand fueled by government efforts to pull the economy out of a coronavirus-induced downturn.

As one of the world's biggest producers of steel, the country has been working to reduce capacity to eliminate a global supply glut. And despite the recent developments, fear of another glut persists and looms heavy over the international market.

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