Mittal Steel CEO on China steel demand, production, consolidation and more (MT 2Q05 conf call quotes)

by: Ezra Marbach

Here are key quotes attributed to Mittal Steel (ticker: MT) Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal from management's Q2 2005 earnings results conference call:

On China's Steel Industry

....China's demand remains strong....only a small decline in spot prices.

....although China's real demand growth is expected to slow down, we should also see a significant production growth slow down....

....if the Chinese production slows down, which we have seen in May, we still believe that 3 to 4% growth will continue....

....they've been taking action to allow the economy to heat up beyond what they want to do it and this blip in productivity, this production downturn in June I think should be sustained....

On Consolidation

....China is going to announce that by 2015, 70% of production should be produced by top 10 companies and by 2010, it should 50% by the top ten companies.

On China Exporting Steel

....I have always been saying that we have been overplaying China, and China could never be a net exporter on a long-term basis.

....the Chinese government is not encouraging exports. Their new steel policy....asks domestic steel industry to focus on domestic steel production.

....I think they recognize that the Chinese steel industry is not geared for exports because it has higher energy cost, it's inefficient, it has an inland network and has to import iron ore.

....they have reduced various export incentives....

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)

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