DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - The German steel federation expects Chinese overcapacity for steel production, which puts pressure on global prices, to persist in the coming years, its president said on Thursday.
China's overcapacity was 360 million tonnes last year and is likely to remain well above 300 million tonnes in 2020, Hans Juergen Kerkhoff told the Handelsblatt steel conference.
Actual crude steel production in China last year was 808 million tonnes, accounting for half of global production, according to Worldsteel.
Expectations of a pickup in construction activity and steel supply tightening in China, the world's largest producer, have helped steel prices rally this year.
Kerkhoff added that he did not rule out an increase in steel output from the United States, the world's fourth-biggest producer, which kept production flat last year.
He reiterated the German federation's forecast for crude steel output to rise 1 percent in Germany this year, compared with a fall of 1 percent last year.
Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan