Indonesia's Share Increased Significantly in Chinese Seamless Steel Pipe Exports Other Fabricated Metal Products February 19, 2015
Author: Alla Yakimova
Market Analyst

The Chinese seamless steel pipe market has shown mixed dynamics in the last few years. The significant drop in 2008 (-20% Y-o-Y growth) and 2009 (-5% Y-o-Y growth) was followed by a slight increase in 2010 (+5% Y-o-Y growth). In the following three years, the market gradually increased until it plunged again in 2013 (-7% Y-o-Y decline).

Chinese production of seamless steel pipe in the last few years has also shown mixed dynamics. A gradual decrease during the period 2007-2009 was followed by strong growth in 2010 and slight growth again in 2011. In 2013, however, Chinese production in physical terms decreased by a staggering 6%, falling to 26.7 million tonnes. The decrease can be explained by the overwhelming drop in global prices. The lower prices, in turn, were the result of an overabundance of supply. 

Production of the two major types of seamless steel pipe, namely "Line pipe of a kind used for oil/gas pipelines, other than of stainless steel" and "Other casing, tubing, of a kind used in drilling for oil/gas other than of drill pipe of stainless steel" represented more than one-fifth of seamless steel pipe production in China.   

On average, seamless steel pipe production increased by 4.5% annually from 2007-2013. Particularly noteworthy was the growth rate of "Other casing, tubing, of a kind used in drilling for oil/gas, of stainless steel, other than drill pipe" (+84.5%).   

In 2013, India (7.6%), the Republic of Korea (6.6%), the United Arab Emirates (5.5%), Indonesia (4.8%) and the Russian Federation (4.5%) were the main destinations of exports for seamless steel pipe, making up 29.0% of China's exports in physical terms.  The share of Indonesia increased significantly throughout the analyzed period.  

Japan and Germany were the main importers of seamless steel pipes with a combined share of 62.3% of imports. The poorest performers, in terms of exporting into China from 2007-20013, were France (-11.6% per year) and Japan (-10.7% per year).