Articles in Category: Anti-Dumping

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was:

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Free Download: The November 2017 MMI Report

President Donald Trump may not have said much, if anything, about China’s steel exports during his recent tour. Both European and U.S. legislators, however, are carrying out investigations into not just simple dumping but more complex and illegal activities, such as shipping via third parties to hide the origin and avoid pre-existing dumping tariffs.

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A Reuters article this week explains how the European Union’s anti-fraud office (OLAF) said it has found Chinese steel was shipped through Vietnam to evade the bloc’s tariffs.

In part, the current case may be a matter of timing.

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Welcome to the (re)launch of the MetalMiner Podcast!

(We’re calling it a relaunch because, well, remember this?)

With everything that’s been happening on the international trade policy front over the past year, we wanted to give metal buying organizations more insight into the issues they may not be reading or hearing enough about — or at all — in the mainstream B2C media.

What better way to do so than go straight to the source — or sources — and interview some key movers and shakers on the manufacturing and policy fronts? So we’re starting a brand-new series called “Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential.”

New Series: Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential

In this first episode of the series, MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman interviews Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

Stumo’s concerns, and those of his organization, cut across industry sectors and political leanings. In this conversation, Stumo outlines what he sees as the most crucial elements to consider in today’s trade environment, touching on everything from China to the German Mittelstand to Alexander Hamilton as economic visionary.

Manufacturing Trade Policy Confidential: Background

If you’ve visited MetalMiner’s digital pages over the past several months, you’re no stranger to the phrase “Section 232” — shorthand for the U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into whether certain steel imports constitute a national security risk, under the namesake section of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The outcome of the investigation (findings from which were slated to come down last summer but have been delayed) could have significant effects on upstream and downstream manufacturing organizations, ranging from metal producers to buying organizations – even the mom-and-pops.

But Section 232 is only one small part. Trade circumvention, China’s non-market economy status, domestic uncertainty amidst proposed tax plans and many other issues have pushed us to start this new podcast series.

We’ll be publishing several more interviews in the coming weeks and months – stay tuned!

Follow the MetalMiner Podcast on SoundCloud.

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This morning in metals news, Tata Steel announces a big investment, Chinese steel shipments have continued to drop and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will expedite a five-year sunset clause review of carbon and alloy steel standard, line, and pressure (CASSLP) pipe from Germany.

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Tata Steel Makes Big Port Talbot Steel Investment

Tata Steel announced it is investing £30 million in its Port Talbot steelworks, the BBC reported.

According to the report, the Indian firm will install a 500-ton steelmaking vessel at the plant, in addition to other upgrades.

Dropping Chinese Steel Shipments

President Donald Trump kicked off his tour of Asia this week; while North Korea draws much of the headlines, China’s steel industry is also among the list of items in the spotlight.

Bloomberg notes that dropping steel shipments from China, the world’s top steel producer, undercut the Trump administration’s rhetoric calling out China’s excess steel capacity.

“Exports from the country that accounts for half of global production dropped to 4.98 million tons last month, down from September’s 5.14 million, and the lowest since 2014, according to customs figures,” Bloomberg’s report reads. “That’s a far cry from the monthly peak in late 2015, when they exceeded 11 million tons.”

U.S. ITC Expedites Review of CASSLP Pipe From Germany

The U.S. ITC announced Monday that it voted to expedite its five-year sunset review concerning the antidumping duty order on seamless CASSLP pipe from Germany.

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“As a result of the vote, the Commission will conduct an expedited review to determine whether revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time,” the ITC release about the vote reads.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, U.S. manufacturers are pleased that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s ruling in a recent antidumping case treats China as a non-market economy, BHP looks to meet copper demand with more drilling and U.S. Steel reports its third-quarter earnings.

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Manufacturing Group Praises DOC’s China Decision

The Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement (MTE) expressed their support for the Department of Commerce’s recent antidumping ruling on Chinese aluminum foil (for which dumping margins were assigned based on the department’s non-market economy dumping methodology).

“Fair international competition and a level playing field are essential for the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute and co-chairman of the MTE. “China has not met the statutory criteria to be treated as a market economy, and we applaud our government’s commitment to ensuring China is not prematurely awarded market economy status.

“Substantial state intervention in the Chinese economy has resulted in significant overcapacity in many manufacturing sectors in China while also distorting global markets and hurting American manufacturers. Jobs have been lost in all of our industries. China should not be afforded market economy status while still maintaining a state-controlled economic system that encourages unfair trade practices that injure multiple U.S. industries.”

BHP Aims to Meet Copper Demand

Miner BHP, in efforts to meet growing copper demand in an increasingly electrified automotive market, is turning to the drill, according to Reuters.

According to the report, BHP’s copper exploration budget has hovered at an annual average of $60 million the last 4-5 years.

U.S. Steel Posts Solid Third Quarter

U.S. Steel reported third-quarter net earnings of $147 million, or $0.83 per diluted share. Third quarter 2016 net earnings were $51 million, or $0.32 per diluted share.

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“Our third quarter results were modestly better than we expected, with stable operating performance at each of our segments and our Tubular segment producing positive EBITDA in the quarter,” said Dave Burritt, U.S. Steel’s president and CEO, in a release. “Our results for the first nine months of 2017 improved over the first nine months of 2016, with all three of our segments improving compared with 2016.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

One day after issuing an affirmative ruling in one case, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it had opened a new investigation.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the department announced an affirmative preliminary determination in an antidumping investigation of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

On Oct. 26, the department announced it was opening a new antidumping probe of imports of forged steel fittings from Italy, China and Taiwan. The announcement also cited a related countervailing duty probe of Chinese forged steel fittings.

“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a prepared statement. “The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must take action to ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly if our rules are being broken.”

The antidumping and countervailing duties probes stem from petitions filed Oct. 5 by two Pennsylvania entities: the Bonney Forge Corporation (Mount Union, Pennsylvania), and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, of Pittsburgh.

According to the release, estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 142.72% for China, 18.66% to 80.20% for Italy and 116.17 % for Taiwan.

Forged steel fittings coming into the U.S. from the three countries amounted to a total value of $114.7 million (with China’s share at an estimated $78.4 million).

A Victory for U.S. Aluminum Producers

The Department of Commerce also late Friday announced an affirmative ruling in its antidumping probe of aluminum foil from China.

The department’s preliminary determination stated Chinese exporters of aluminum foil sold their product at prices that resulted in preliminary dumping margins of 96.81% to 162.24% to be applied.

The petitioner in the case was the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group.

According to the Department of Commerce, last year’s imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million.

The Aluminum Association released a statement praising the Department of Commerce’s decision.

“Following the positive preliminary countervailing duty determination this summer, the association and its foil-producing members are very pleased with this finding that again underscores the Commerce Department’s commitment to combatting unfair trade,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, in the release.

“We appreciate Secretary Ross’s leadership in enforcing rules-based global trade. U.S. aluminum foil producers are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they cannot compete against products that are sold at unfairly low prices and subsidized by the Government of China.”

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A final determination is scheduled to be made Feb. 23, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a ruling that has U.S. aluminum interests applauding, the London Metal Exchange might be considering deferring a plan to charge fees on over-the-counter contracts and Kobe Steel pulls its full-year profit forecast as the fallout from its data falsification scandal continues.

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DOC Issues Affirmative Ruling in Aluminum Foil Antidumping Case

On Friday, the DOC announced that it had found exporters of aluminum foil from China sold their product at prices that resulted in preliminary dumping margins of 96.81% to 162.24% to be applied, “based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties using the Department’s standard non-market economy dumping methodology.”

The petitioner is the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group.

Not long after the announcement, the Aluminum Association applauded the DOC’s decision.

“Following the positive preliminary countervailing duty determination this summer, the association and its foil-producing members are very pleased with this finding that again underscores the Commerce Department’s commitment to combatting unfair trade,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, in a prepared statement.

“We appreciate Secretary Ross’s leadership in enforcing rules-based global trade. U.S. aluminum foil producers are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they cannot compete against products that are sold at unfairly low prices and subsidized by the Government of China.”

According to the DOC release on the announcement, in 2016 imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million.

Change of Plans?

According to Reuters, the LME might be having a change of plans vis-a-vis fees on over-the-counter contracts. The LME last month it would institute the new fees in January, but is now considering deferring them.

According to the report, LME CEO Matt Chamberlain said the exchange is trying to balance out the costs of trading on and off exchange.

Kobe Steel Holds Earnings Forecast

On the heels of the Japanese steelmaker’s quality data falsification scandal, the firm has decided to withdraw its full-year profit forecast, according to the BBC and other media reports.

Free Download: The October 2017 MMI Report

Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-largest steelmaker, has seen its shares drop more than 30% as a result of the scandal.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the U.S. Department of Commerce has delayed ruling on whether or not to consider China a market economy, the Commerce Department also deferred a preliminary ruling on Chinese aluminum foil, and also issued a preliminary determination in an antidumping duty investigation of silicon from Australia, Brazil and Norway.

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Commerce Waits to Rule on China’s Market Economy Status

China officially became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001, but its status as a market economy is still something of debate around the world.

In that vein, the U.S. Department of Commerce has elected to delay a ruling on whether to treat China as a market economy until after President Donald Trump’s upcoming trip to China, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

“In all cases, the Department conducts a full and fair assessment of the facts,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Thursday, as quoted by Bloomberg. “This extension will ensure that the highest standards are followed in this case as we seek to guarantee fair treatment for U.S. workers and businesses.”

Trump will travel to Asia from Nov. 3-14, making stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

For more information on China’s market economy status, make sure to visit our microsite on the issue.

Commerce Defers Aluminum Foil Ruling

In addition to the aforementioned, the Commerce Department announced it would defer a preliminary ruling in its antidumping investigation of aluminum foil imports from China.

“The deferral will allow the Commerce Department to fully analyze information pertaining to China’s status as a non-market economy (NME) country, which is being contemplated within the context of this AD investigation,” according to a Commerce Department release Thursday.

The Commerce Department announced it intends to issue a ruling on both China’s market economy status and Chinese aluminum foil imports no later than Nov. 30.

Commerce Issues Affirmative Determination in Silicon Investigation

The Commerce Department did, however, act in its investigation of silicon imports from a trio of countries.

On Thursday, Commerce issued an affirmative preliminary determination in its antidumping investigation of silicon imports from Australia, Brazil and Norway.

According to the Commerce Department announcement, exporters from Australia, Brazil, and Norway have sold the metal at rates ranging from 20.79%, 56.78% to 134.92%, and 3.74%, respectively, at less than fair value.

According to the Commerce Department, imports of silicon metal last year from Australia, Brazil, and Norway were valued at an estimated $33.9 million, $60.0 million, and $21.6 million, respectively.

The petitioner in the case is Globe Specialty Metals, Inc., which has production facilities in Alabama, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.

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A final determination in the case is scheduled to be announced Feb. 16.

Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel have finally made it to the altar.

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After 18 months of mostly behind-the-scenes negotiations to resolve several potentially “deal-off” stumbling blocks, all the major issues have been resolved. The two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a 50:50 joint venture based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, called Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel (TTS).

The behemoth will rank second to ArcelorMittal with 21 million tons of annual steel capacity generating sales of €15 billion ($17.8 billion) and employing 48,000 people, The Telegraph reported.

New Focus

TTS will focus on three main production hubs: Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, Duisburg in Germany and Port Talbot in South Wales, the paper reports, Analysts say improved viability will come from cost savings of between €400 million and €600 million a year arising after 2,000 redundancies and another 2,000 jobs going out of the combined business as overlapping operations are removed.

Not surprisingly, TTS sees the value proposition as the enhanced opportunity for the combined group to move its business up the value chain in cooperation rather than competition with each other.

Hans Fischer, Tata Steel Europe’s chief executive, said “We need to focus on higher value products, China has huge overcapacity and there is a risk they will flood the market. The answer is not to compete with them, but try but find a solution where we have products that cannot be produced easily. We need to be a technology leader.”

Tata wriggling out of the old British Steel Pension fund liabilities was the final major hurdle to overcome — albeit to be fair, at considerable cost to the parent — and the willingness of British workers to agree to an end to the final salary scheme and reduced benefits for existing members underlines their desperation for a deal, matched by compromises made in Germany by workers fearful of the prospects of foreign competition with the European steel industry.

But therein lies the dilemma.

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After a required five-year review, existing antidumping duty orders on carbon and alloy seamless standard, line, and pressure pipe (CASSLP) from Japan and Romania were kept in place after a vote Tuesday by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

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According to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, the Department of Commerce must revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that “revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies and of material injury USITC within a reasonably foreseeable time.”

According to a USITC release, Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioner Irving A. Williamson voted in the affirmative. Commissioner Meredith M. Broadbent voted in the affirmative with respect to Japan and in the negative with respect to Romania.

The five-year sunset reviews in the case — Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Japan and Romania — were instituted Sept. 1, 2016.

The determination came on a third review of the orders. The second review of the orders led to a continuation of them as of Oct. 11, 2o11, for both Japanese and Romanian imports of the products.

According to the USITC’s posted notice explaining its determination to conduct full reviews for CASSLP imports from each country, it noted that it received a joint response filed on behalf of Vallourec Star, LP and U.S. Steel, domestic producers of CASSLP.

“Because these producers accounted for a substantial majority of domestic production of CASSLP pipe in 2015, the Commission determined that the domestic interested party group response was adequate,” the explanation noted.

Although the Commission did not receive a response from any interested parties in Japan, it received a joint response filed by S.C. Silcotub S.A., a Romanian producer of CASSLP pipe, and Tenaris Global Services (U.S.A.) Corporation, an affiliated U.S. importer of subject merchandise from Romania, the explanatory document said.

Free Download: The September 2017 MMI Report

The Commission’s public report containing information on the reviews will be available by Oct. 31 and can be accessed, once available, at http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.

In another five-year sunset review, the Commission voted Sept. 14 to keep in place existing antidumping duty orders on steel nails from the United Arab Emirates.