Global Attitudes Towards China Changing

The Pew Research Centre, a US statistics agency, has recently published a highly revealing study on various nations’ views about China compared to the United States.

The central question of the report – ‘who is the world’s leading economic power?’ – showed that, since 2008, when only 20% of the world cited China, a large change in attitudes has taken place. Now, 34% believe China is the global economic leader, with only 41% believing America retains the top spot. Interestingly, the nations who saw China as the biggest player tended to be those furthest away from it – America, Canada and Europe – whilst the Asian, African and Latin American countries still saw the US as the dominant nation.

In the subcategory of Soft Power in the report, defined as ‘a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence’, China was also gaining ground. Previously, it was widely believed that America’s innovation and media power would allow them to maintain their position as the most potent international psychological power. Now though, it seems that in certain domains, such as scientific and technological advances, China and America were overall viewed as equal. Similarly, in the field of ideas and customs spreading, Latin American and Africans saw both nations as equally influential.

Lloyd P.//SMC Editor


The Green Revolution Uses PPGI

The latest invention to come out of research into energy efficient buildings is the Eco-Shelter. This revolutionary development promises to have significant implications for disaster relief efforts. The main problem facing organisations attempting to help disaster-struck regions is the housing shortage left in the wake of the destruction. Sometimes thousands of people are without a home, prone to disease, hygiene issues and at risk from the elements of nature.Philippines_Eco_Shelter_mockup_copy

Temporary housing has traditionally taken the form of tents – creating large refugee settlements that have often been breeding grounds for contagious diseases, such as cholera in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The solution to such problems requires new forms of temporary housing, but this has been limited by the high costs they generally incur. Eco-Shelters, though, breathe a much needed breath of hope into the situation. These have minimum energy loss, with Lambda group claiming their’s have 96% energy efficiency. Thus shelter for the affected becomes affordable on a large scale.

These were used for the first time in the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan. Batches of DIY Eco-shelters were flown in, to be built very quickly upon arrival. Indeed, the design and materials used allow it to be very simple to build, so they can be packed flat when transported. This gives them a speed of transport vital to emergency relief.

The shelters use advanced Eco-technology to reduce energy use. They use PPGI to create light, insulator walls and roofs. These are set up in double sheets, trapping a warm layer of air that  minimizes heat loss. PPGI is a cheap, fully-recyclable form of steel. The pre-painted aspect of the metal is vital for ensuring the waterproofing of the eco-shelters. Without it, the project is worthless.

Here at the Shanghai Metal Corporation, PPGI is one of our specialties. We produce high quality products on a large scale, with a massive choice of colors, sizes and thickness. Our prices are some of the most competitive around – we invite you to take a look at our website to see for yourself:–pds257.html

We are excited to be part of this green revolution and to play a part in saving lives in the future!

Lloyd P. // SMC Editor

Ethiopia; Export Extraordinaire

Although it is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia has the lowest ratio of merchandise exports to GDP in the world. Historically, Ethiopian industry has been unable to develop into a world player, held back by a variety of economic problems. This is now changing however, as a World Bank report published this week reports positive statistics.

Ethiopia’s development model is partly inspired by the East Asian experience that realised high economic growth through the development of new export sectors and government-led development investments. Benefiting from a global commodities price windfall in the 2000s, Ethiopian exports grew at one of the highest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. In tandem, GDP grew 9.7% in 2012/13.

According to this study, a large part of this comes from the comparative advantage Ethiopia possesses in over 80 goods and services in Africa. Many of these, such as horticultural goods, sesame seeds, soy beans and footwear, have seen considerable export growth over the last year. Ethiopia’s nascent manufacturing industries are also beginning to grow rapidly from a low base, after being positively affected by changes in the global trade regime and
the introduction of new trade preferences.

Exports and imports of goods and services as a share of GDP increased from 37.5 percent in 2001/02 to 48.7 percent in
2011/12. This figure remains low, though, considering the projected growth curve, so it is safe to assume that it can only go up from here. The major investor in Ethiopia today is China,  which which the value of trade topped $200bn last year.

Indeed, China is completing changing the dynamics of trade within the entire region. Premier Li toured 4 major East African nations last year, where he renewed an offer of $20bn in loans to Africa between 2013 and 2015. In Ethiopia, Chinese firms have invested heavily in recent years with their worth swelling well over $1bn in 2014, according to official figures. Beijing is also a key partner in Ethiopia’s bid to expand infrastructure such as roads, railways and telecom services.

The growth of Ethiopia thus, looks to signal a change in global trade patterns, with a new axis of development avoiding Western nations altogether. Rarely has such growth been sustained, yet the future looks bright for now, particularly in light of the slow and asymmetric recovery in the EU & US. The core of this growth will require steel, particularly the construction industry, which accounted for 25% of all economic activity in China over the last 10 years. Chinese steel firms eager to develop relations with this part of the world to fulfill this promise mutual growth.

For more information about SMC, follow us on twitter @Shanghai_Metal

Lloyd P.//SMC Editor




Shanghai BRICS Bank Signals Bright Future

This week the leaders of the developing world met to announce a massive new project. Like Bretton Woods 65 years, the creation of a new global bank is sending shockwaves across every country. The BRICS development Bank, to be situated in Shanghai, will serve the purpose of financing new projects across the emerging continents as well as acting as a soverign relief fund.

The leaders of the 5 BRICS countries – Roussef of Brazil, Putin of Russia, Zuma of South Africa, Modhi of India and Xi of China – met in Fortaleza, Brazil, to announce the launch of this $100bn project. These 5 nations together account for 21 percent of global economic output and have contributed more than 50 percent of world economic growth in the past decade. The hope now is that they will also possess a financial institution to rival the western powers’ IMF and World Bank.

BRICS happy_0







A statement from Russian President Putin that the creation of the bank would ‘help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies’. In other words, the hegemony of the west is being challenged and eroded in, primarily, the financial world, and, by consequence, the geopolitical world.

The news provides markets across the developing world that their governments have direct control over their economic interests in the global setting. For the Steel industry, this may mean an improvement in integration across the developing nations, with trust being built to improve cross border transactions.

metallic coated steel department, SMC


Lloyd P.//SMC Editor

Трубы из нержавейки

SMC Russia

Есть множество применений для труб из нержавеющей стали, с которыми мы сталкиваемся каждый день. Диапазон применения труб из нержавеющей стали довольно широк, от выхлопных труб для автомобилей до больших труб которые используются для подачи воды, нефти и газов. Нержавеющая сталь бывает различных сортов и содержание хрома предотвращает коррозию.


Нержавеющие трубы начали использоваться вместо чугунных на многих очистных сооружениях благодоря их экономичности. Такое свойство, как долговечность нержавеющих труб очень важно при строительстве, когда последующая замена труб будет трудновыполнима (Татхилл, 1994).

Трубы могут быть как сварными так и бесшовными. Бесшовные трубы считаются более прочными и более долговечными. Однако глобальная потребность в нержавеющей стали сварных труб неуклонно растет из-за его экономически эффективного производства, улучшения  технологий производства.(Acom, 2011).

shape pipe

В Shanghai Metal Corporation (SMC),  мы мы имеем огромный опыт в производстве сварных и бесшовных труб и их экспорту по всему миру.

Мы сосредоточены на обеспечении высоких стандартов обслуживания клиентов и может производить и экспортировать в…

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Алюминий изменит автомобильную промышленность

SMC Russia

Ford F-150Текущие тенденции показывают, автомобильные компании используют алюминий, чтобы изменить имидж их бренда для определенной продукции, это способствует  улучшению эффективности и использования топлива, долговечности и более высокой производительности. Алюминий один из самых легких металлов, что  позволяет водителям иметь больше контроля над автомобилем. Высокоскоростные автомобили уже используют алюминиевые рамы в течение почти двух десятилетий, но сейчас многие компании производящие внедорожники и грузовики присоединяются к тенденции.

Jaguar Land Rover's Range Rover model is aluminum based because executives say "lightweighting" is one of the car industry's most important areas of innovation. Range Rover модель Jaguar Land Rover производится на основе алюминия, потому что как говорят руководители концерна, “снижение веса” является одним из важнейших направлений инновационной деятельности в автомобильной промышленности.

Крупные бренды, такие как Chrysler и Ford, говорят, что они используют алюминиевые запчасти для их тяжелых транспортных средств, чтобы расширить их клиентскую базу. В 2017 году, потребители могут ожидать  изменения у Chrysler  Jeep Wrangler. Генеральный директор Jeep Майк Мэнли объясняет, что новый автомобиль будет более плавным на дороге, но все еще сохранить свой неотъемлимые качества внедорожника.

Покупатели требуют…

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The Incredible Growth of Nicaragua

First it was the BRICs who were on the tip of everyone’s tongues, then the MINTs became the newest thing. All these countries have one thing in common though: size. Look behind the massive populations and vast resources and you’ll find that some other countries warrant just as much attention. Nicaragua, a country that has slipped totally under the radar in world news for many years now, has in fact been undergoing a remarkable economic development. According to the World Bank’s data, Nicaragua has higher average export growth over the last five years than any other nation in the world.

Driven by an 18% growth in exports and a 30% growth in construction, Nicaragua’s economy last year expand considerably faster than the Latin American average of 3%. The government also kept inflation to 6.62%—its lowest rate in three years—and maintained international reserves close to its historic high of $1.89 billion (up notably from $1.1 billion when the Sandinistas returned to power democratically in 2007). In addition, Nicaragua’s  foreign owned free-trade zones, which produce textiles, automobile harnesses, tobacco, and other assorted doodads, reached a record high of $1.9 billion in exports last year. nicaragua

Underlying this boom is the CAFTA-DR, a free-trade agreement between the US and 3 central American countries in 2006, which removed tariffs on almost all products traded between the countries. Moreover, in that same year, Taiwan signed a similar bilateral agreement with Nicaragua that gave it huge leverage into the Asian market. Today, we see the benefits both ways, as Chinese steel has underpinned the surge in construction sector there whilst Nicaraguan coffee is quickly becoming a favourite across the region,

Sources: World Bank, Confidencial, WTO.


The Return of Protectionism In Steel

The Return of Protectionism In Steel

The EU has started to reintroduce tariffs into the Steel industry in the last few weeks following allegations of dumping from foreign competitors. Steel wire already saw the imposition of a heavy 24% duty in May, whilst an investigation is now under way on imports of Stainless Steel from China and Taiwan.

These developments mark the return of tensions that had been calmed 5 years ago, when the EU decided against imposing trade sanctions on China. They were, at the time, responding to allegations of dumping in the cold-rolled flat steel products industry from Eurofer. This Brussels-based representative body for the European steel industry now claim that China and Taiwan are operating at a 20% dumping margin in the 14% of the market they control.

steel x


The EU market, worth US$8 billion, remains the world’s largest, despite a 2.7% fall in consumption reported in the year 2013. Meanwhile, the Chinese market is projected to grow over 25% in the next decade. The question that remains is whether the upcoming years will be characterised by worsening or improving relations in EU-China steel trade.

Objectively, consumers in both nations would benefit from a return to the WTO standards of fair trade. The Chinese steel industry, constantly consolidating and improving its product range and quality, have a potentially large role to play in dampening EU inflation. Likewise, China can benefit from the technological innovation and expertise of European firms.

Sources: Eurofer, World Steel Dynamics, Bloomberg.

Lloyd P.//SMC Editor

Competitiveness Fears as German Wages Rise

The steelworker’s strikes that immobilized production all of last week been finally resolved after a massive deal. The largest trade union in the European steel industry – Germany’s IG Metall – has negotiated a 4% salary increase for its members. Last week IG Metall had called strikes at plants operated by steel companies including ThyssenKrupp, Salzgitter, ArcelorMittal and Finland’s Outokumpu. The 75,000 employees concerned have been promised a two-stage increase in wages, beginning with 2.3% increase from July followed by a further 1.7% from May 2015. That is less than the 5 percent over 12 months the union had demanded but is well above the rate of inflation in Germany, currently at around 0.9%.

germany-labour-costsEfforts by governments across the European Union to cut their budget deficits in the past two years have squeezed companies and consumers, hurting the steel industry by curbing demand for cars, appliances and new buildings. The fear now is that the industry will lose its competitive edge to countries with less significant labour costs in what is now a fiercely competitive global industry. Hourly labour costs, already at US$33 before this development, will climb yet higher, whilst in China they remain at no more than US$1.1, further improving China’s competitiveness. The assumption is that as these developing countries fulfill their growth potential they see a equal rise in prices, yet according to Giles Calis of Steel Consult International, low wages will remain a competitive advantage for steel producers in developing countries for decades to come.


Two of the world’s main steelmaking countries, China and India, have the additional advantage of holding huge untapped reserves of manpower in their agricultural sectors. As urbanisation in both countries continues, new job seekers from the countryside will provide labour markets with additional supply for many years, which will have a dampening impact on wage inflation. Moreover, mills in low wage countries have an opportunity to enhance their international competitiveness by improving productivity faster than rising costs of employment in developed nations. Looking forward then, it seems the most likely rise in market share in the world steel industry will inevitably come from developed nations, in particular China, as they maintain their competitive edge in labour costs. Sources: the Guardian Online, Reuters Online, Steel Consult International.

Lloyd P.//SMC Editor

US-China Talks Under Way Again

The United States and China began the first round of their biannual trade negotiations yesterday, with talks set to focus on technology products. The US hopes to be able to negotiate a reduction in the duty obligations of firms exporting to China, a vital market for America’s leading industry.Mobile_Phone_Components

Although both countries are signatories to the WTO’s  ITA, which removes tariffs on many such goods, China requested 57 items be placed on the exclusion list, whilst the US protects its Fibre Optic. If a deal can successfully be achieved, then this is good news for the steel industry, which supplies vast quantities of goods to the technology firms.