Articles in Category: Anti-Dumping

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of September total 2.89 million net tons. That was an 8% decrease from the 3.13 million permit tons recorded in August and a 6% decrease from the August final imports total of 3.06 nt.

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Import permit tonnage for finished steel in September was 2.22 million nt down 10% from the final imports total of 2.47 nt in August. For the first 9 months of 2015 (including September SIMA and August Final), total and finished steel imports were 30.95 million nt and 25.18 million nt, respectively, down 5% and up 3% from the same period in 2014. The estimated finished steel import market share in September was 25% and is 30% year-to-date.

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Finished steel imports with large increases in September permits vs. the August final included standard rail (up 334%), cut length plates (up 59%) and cold-rolled sheets (up 19%). Products with significant year-to-date increases vs. the same period in 2014 include reinforcing bar (up 48%), line pipe (up 35%), standard pipe (up 21%), tin plate (up 15%), sheets and strip hot-dipped galvanized (up 13%) and wire drawn (up 11%).

The Commerce Department announced final determinations in the anti-dumping investigations of imports of welded line pipe from South Korea and Turkey, and the countervailing duties investigation of imports of welded line pipe from Turkey.

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Commerce also announced a negative final determination in the countervailing duties investigation of imports of welded line pipe from Korea. This means the countervailing investigation is terminated and no Korean producers or exporters will be subject to cash deposits for countervailing duties.

The investigations cover circular welded carbon and alloy steel line pipe not more than 24 inches in nominal outside diameter. Such welded line pipe is typically used in oil and gas pipelines.

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Commerce determined that imports of welded line pipe from South Korea and Turkey have been sold in the US at dumping margins ranging from 2.53% to 6.19% and 6.66% to 22.95%, respectively. Commerce also determined that imports of welded line pipe from Turkey have received countervailable subsidies ranging from 1.31% to 152.20%.

The US and 11 trading partners, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region came to final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which still faces a skeptical congress.

TPP Agreed To

The US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday reached final agreement on the largest regional trade accord in history, although an approval fight still looms in congress.

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The conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after years of negotiations was “an important first step,” said Michael B. Froman, the United States Trade Representative, as he and other officials announced their accord.

The deal faces months of scrutiny in Congress, where some bipartisan opposition was immediate.

Steel Imports Down in August

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the US imported a total of 3,016,000 net tons (nt) of steel in August 2015, including 2,439,000 nt of finished steel. That is down 8.2% and 6.7%, respectively, vs. July final data.

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On the year-to-date, through the first 8 months of 2015, total and finished steel imports were 28,023,000 and 22,915,000 nt, respectively. That was down 2% and up 7%, respectively, vs. the same period in 2014.

United States Steel Corporation’s CEO Mario Longhi made the media rounds recently, evangelizing U.S. Steel’s – and most of the domestic industry’s – key plank in their policy platform: creating a globally fair playing field when it comes to international trade.

He showed up on Maria Bartiromo’s show, denouncing unfair subsidies in foreign economies and tariffs on certain US imports into countries such as China.

mario longhi us steel

Screenshot from video of Maria Bartiromo’s interview with Mario Longhi. Source: Fox Business.

He also spoke to Politico about the granting of “market economy” status to China next year, which would change how the Commerce Department determines anti-dumping duties on Chinese goods, including steel.

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As you may know, China is pushing a bunch of steel beyond its borders. As my colleague Stuart Burns reports, while China’s steel production may have dropped, its exports have risen. In the first 8 months of this year, product exports reached 71.87 million metric tons, up 26.5% compared to the same period of 2014.

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In fact, the China Iron and Steel Association’s vice chairman is quoted as saying that this year, the country will export more than 100 mmt of steel – that’s equivalent to more than the entire production of North America. Or nearly as much, purely in exports, as the next largest producer, Japan, produces both for domestic and export combined, according to Burns.

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Debate is increasing about whether we have reached peak steel. What that means is have we reached peak Chinese steel production? Because with China producing over half the world’s steel, minor rises elsewhere would be nothing compared to a significant drop in China.

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Global steel production fell by 3% in August 2015, according to the Brussels-based World Steel Association (WSA), its biggest fall this year led by a decline in China’s steel production. World steel production went down to 132 million metric tons last month, as China registered a 3.5% drop in steel output to 66.9 mmt. The global decline came in spite of number 2 producer Japan, and both Germany and India, posting double digit gains.

Global Decline

Globally, though, steel production is struggling and, more importantly, so are steel producers. The WSA said the crude steel capacity utilization ratio for the 65 countries it coordinates data from (covering 98% of global steel production) in August 2015 was just 68%. This was 3.6% lower than August last year and a decline on the month before. Read more

The CEO of Volkswagen Group stepped down in the wake of the company’s diesel vehicle emissions scandal and the China Iron and Steel Association vowed to break its own steel export records.

China Vows More Steel Exports

China’s total steel product exports are likely to exceed 100 million metric tons this year, Wang Liqun, the vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, told reporters on Wednesday.

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Volkswagen CEO Steps Down

Martin Winterkorn, the embattled chief executive of Volkswagen, announced that he will resign following the scandal surrounding doctored emissions reports of its diesel cars.

In a statement issued by the company, Winterkorn said he was “shocked by the events of the past few days.”

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“Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.”

Regulators discovered that VW’s diesel vehicles, in the US, had software on their internal computers designed to defeat proper vehicles emissions tests.

It is a possibility, both in the US and in Europe as domestic producers are either on razor-thin margins or facing losses as Chinese exports rise relentlessly.

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A Reuters article this week points the finger for closure at some of the West’s highest-cost smelters. Not surprisingly, all are in Europe. The article mentions two of Alcoa’s in Spain, Klesch Group’s Dutch Delfiz plant and Trimet’s German plant at Essen. But Glencore has closed Century Aluminum’s 244,000-metric-tons Hawkesville smelter in Kentucky and both Alcoa and UC Rusal are looking at further closures so Europe’s higher cost base is not alone.


Is it finally time for US smelters to ask for anti-dumping actions against Chinese overproduction?

Yet, while Western producers are making minor reductions here and there, China is adding more capacity in a single plant than most countries in the West are closing. That, in itself, would be manageable if at the same time the country closed its older, more expensive and less efficient plants, but it isn’t. Read more

The Commerce Dept. announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the anti-dumping investigation of imports of silicomanganese from Australia.

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Silicomanganese is a ferro alloy composed of manganese, silicon, and iron, and normally contains smaller proportions of minor elements, such as carbon, phosphorus, and sulfur. It is used in steel production as a source of both silicon and manganese, and sometimes as an alloying agent in the production of iron castings.

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Commerce preliminarily determined that imports of silicomanganese from Australia have been sold in the US at a dumping margin of 11.93%.

India’s aluminum producers are struggling, in spite of being credited with some very competitively priced smelter capacity and having recently invested in new technology.

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Indian aluminum mills, unlike the steel industry that is sheltered behind import tariffs and a dominance of domestic producers, the aluminum industry is not so protected, leaving the producers with little pricing power in the face of intense competition from China and West Asian semi-finished product producers. Steel imports account for only 12% of the domestic market, yet for aluminum a massive 56% is met by imports as they surged from the 40% level just a few years ago. Read more

Today in metals, the London Metal Exchange has introduced position limits for a new contract and China’s commerce minister said anti-dumping measures against its steel exports won’t solve the global overcapacity problem.

LME Introduces First Position Limits

The London Metal Exchange plans to introduce limits on large positions for the first time to avoid market squeezes, initially on its new aluminum premium contract, it said on Tuesday.

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The use of position limits may be expanded to other contracts if upcoming legislation requires them, the LME said in a statement.

China Scoffs at Steel Anti-Dumping Duties

Using anti-dumping measures to restrict Chinese steel exports will not provide a lasting solution to growing trade tensions in the sector, which is suffering from overcapacity on a global scale, China’s commerce ministry said on Wednesday.

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Reuters reported that the Chinese steel sector sees the foreign steel market as a lifeline, with historically low prices allowing them to boost exports by as much as 26.5% in the first eight months of this year.