LONDON Chinese steel producer Tangshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. has agreed to buy a 10-percent stake in Duferco International Trading Holding SA, a spokeswoman for the trader confirmed March 27 to AMM sister publication Steel First.
The deal between Duferco and Tangshan, a subsidiary of the worlds second-largest steel producer, Hebei Iron & Steel (Group) Co. Ltd., includes agreements on the marketing of steel products, the sourcing of raw materials and technical support for plants.
Duferco has customers in Europe as well as in North and South America, so the tie-up is expected to expand Tangshans geographical network and potential for exports.
The Lugano, Switzerland-based trader said that of the 8 million tonnes of steel it sold last year, some 2.2 million tonnesabout 27.5 percentwere distributed to 28,000 customers in Europe and the Americas.
Tangshan Steel has a production capacity of more than 18 million tonnes per year.
Industry analysts estimated earlier this month that China has at least 900 million tonnes of crude steel production capacity, while its official output in 2012 was just 716 million tonnes (amm.com, March 12), making a foothold in export markets a key development for Chinese mills.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.