China steel boom is done: BlueScope boss

Paul O’Malley, CEO of BlueScope Steel, has said that the need for steel has peaked in intensity in China, with demand shifting to the resurgent US economy.

Fairfax interviewed O’Malley, with the BlueScope chief saying that the Chinese boom was finished.

"What we're seeing on the ground is a significant reduction in confidence domestically within China as it pertains to building and construction, which is where a lot of steel goes," O'Malley told Fairfax.

"Yes there is still growth but the hey day is over. It may well return, but at the moment the hey day is over."

BlueScope operates in 17 countries, and 2,500 of its 16,000-strong workforce is in China.

O’Malley said that with the absolute growth in China for steel would “slow dramatically”, there was no sign that US growth would let up. This was being fuelled by improved state budgets, flexible labour and cheap energy.

US growth was such that, “not even the politicians can stuff it up to be frank” he said.

His comments come after Boston Consulting Group released its third annual Made In America, Again report.

The BCG survey of 252 senior executives from US companies with a Chinese presence found 16 per cent of these were actively on-shoring to the US from China, up from 7 per cent in the 2012 survey.

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