Reshuffle of Top Leaders at China Iron and Steel Association

By Zhang Xiangdong
Published: 2011-02-22

Translated by Tang Xiangyang
February 21, 2011
Economic Observer Online
Original article:

Two of the men who led China's steel industry in an unsuccesful bid to resist the unraveling of a decades-old iron ore pricing system and who also attempted to seek drastic price cuts from foreign iron ore suppliers, stepped down from their postions in an industry association yesterday.

At an annual meeting of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), the that represents the largest players in China's steel industry, executive deputy chairman Luo Bingsheng (罗冰生) and general secretary Shan Shanghua (单尚华) announced their resignation.

Both Luo (left) and Shang (right) were the public face of a high-profile battle between China's steel mills and the three mining companies that dominate international tade in iron ore - BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale.

Chen Xianwen (陈先文), director of CISA's market investigation department and also a leading participant in the iron ore price negotiations, also resigned.

According to reports, Luo Bingsheng's age was a factor in his decision not to seek another term, similarly, the 64-year old Shan Shanghua, who was appointed CISA secretary general in 2007, was reported as saying "I'm already getting on, too tired."

Despite maintaining a firm stance on the need to maintain a system of iron ore pricing based on a annually-negotiated contract price during the 2009 negotiations with international miners, CISA saw its position undermined by the willingness of dometic steel mills to accept a shift to quarterly contracts based when dealing with the three big miners.

Since that breakthrough, steel mills have continued to sign increasingly short-term contracts with iron ore suppliers, with monthly contracts becoming more and more common.

Zhang Changfu, the former deputy president of the association, will replace Shan as CISA's new general secretary.

Wang Xiaoqi, the former director of the planning and development bureau of the State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration (SASAC), will replace Luo as one of the associations deputy chairmen.

The association's chairman Deng Qilin, who is also the general manager of the Wuhan Steel Company, also stepped down at the meeting which was held in Beijing yesterday.

Zhu Jimin, Chairman of Capital Steel and Iron Group, will replace Deng as the new chairman of CISA until 2013, after that, Xu Lejiang, the chairman of Bao Steel, will step into the chairman's role at CISA until 2015.

This article was edited by Paul Pennay

Links and Sources
Economic Observer Online:
中钢协副会长罗冰生、秘书长单尚华卸任 首钢董事长朱继民将任会长 (Chinese)
The Beijing News: 中钢协高层大换人 铁矿石谈判局面不利 (Chinese)
Reuters: China's combative steel industry head Shan Shanghua retires
Securities Times: Image