Articles in Category: Anti-Dumping

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.

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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.

Read more

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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.

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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.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has been busy this year.

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The department added another investigation to its agenda, announcing late last week that it had launched antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into titanium sponge imports from Japan and Kazakhstan.

“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices and will render our decisions at the earliest opportunity, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a release. “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.”

The new investigation marked the 65th new antidumping or countervailing duty probe of the year by the Department of Commerce. Through Sept. 14, the number of new investigations has increased by 45% compared with the same time frame last year, according to the Department of Commerce release.

The case comes on the heels of petitions filed by Titanium Metals Corporation (TIMET) on Aug. 24.

The investigations will seek to determine whether titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan is being sold at less than fair value, as well as if the imports from Kazakhstan are receiving countervailable government subsidies.

Imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan were valued at an estimated $144.8 million and $374,000, respectively, according to the Department of Commerce.

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The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will make a preliminary determination in the cases on or before Oct. 10. Assuming the ITC determines there is a reasonable indication that imports of the product threaten the domestic industry, the Department of Commerce will then issue a preliminary determination in the countervailing duty case by Nov. 17, 2017, and the antidumping cases by Jan. 31, 2018.

TIMET, based in Exton, Pennsylvania, supplies nearly a fifth of the world’s titanium, and has production facilities in both the U.S. and Europe, according to its website.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s look back at some of the top stories on MetalMiner this week.

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Free Download: The August 2017 MMI Report

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary determination on Chinese aluminum foil — one that could have a major impact on Chinese aluminum foil producers.

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On Aug. 8, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that Chinese aluminum foil has benefited unfairly from government subsidies ranging from 16.56 to 80.97%.

“The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade, and will continue to validate the information provided to us that brought us to this decision,” Ross said in a release. “The Trump Administration will not stand idly by as harmful trade practices from foreign nations attempt to take advantage of our essential industries, workers, and businesses.”

Well, China’s Ministry of Commerce had a response of its own last week.

Wang Hejun, director of the Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau, questioned the ruling, citing the Chinese government’s cooperation, according to a release on the Ministry of Commerce’s website.

The release also states Hejun said China urges the U.S. to act “prudently” to avoid negative impacts bad influence on the economic and trade relationship between the U.S. and China.

According to Reuters, the Ministry of Commerce posted a statement on its Wechat account, in which Hejun said the United States rebuffed the Chinese government’s offers to cooperate with the investigation before making its ruling.

The Department of Commerce’s Aug. 8 ruling was only a preliminary determination. However, at the conclusion of the countervailing duty investigation, duties of approximately 81% could be slapped onto Chinese foil imports.

According to the Department of Commerce release, barring any delays it is expected to announce its final determination on Oct. 24.

In 2016, imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million, according to the Department of Commerce.

The aluminum foil countervailing duty investigation is one of 64 initiated from Jan. 20 to Aug. 8 — a 40% increase from the same time period last year, according to the Department of Commerce.

In other aluminum investigations, the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation of aluminum imports is still pending. The investigation was launched April 17 (along with a 232 investigation of steel imports). Although those investigations do not specifically target China, much of the discussion from the administration and those within the domestic steel and aluminum industries has focused on China and excess capacity. Other nations, however, including the European Union bloc, have expressed concern about the impact of Section 232 actions and their effects.

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According to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, Ross has 270 days to present the president with a report outlining recommendations, which makes for January deadlines for the aluminum and steel cases.

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India’s protectionist measures to safeguard its steel industry seem to be paying off.

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As reported consistently by AG Metal Miner, the Indian government, responding to the call of its steelmakers, had time and again imposed various forms of anti-dumping measures and fines to stop cheap imports of steel — especially from the world’s steel manufacturing leader, China.

Along with the U.S. and Brazil, India was said to be one of the world’s leading initiators of anti-dumping investigations, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Well, now, all this has resulted in India’s steel exports doubling to 8.2 million tons and imports have been slashed by about one-third in 2016-17.

As per a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI), quoting from portions of the released Economic Survey, the rise in exports of steel could also wipe away the excess capacity built up in the steel sector. The mid-year survey by the government said steel imports had declined in 2016-17, while exports of steel had doubled.

Alloy imports dipped by 36.6% to 7.4 million tons in 2016- 17 against 11.7 million tons in the previous fiscal year. Exports doubled to 8.2 million tons last fiscal year, over 4.1 million tons in the corresponding year.

The news was welcomed by steel companies like Tata Steel. T.V. Narendran, managing director for Tata Steel India and South East Asia, told newsmen that steel demand in India was increasing, making it just right to make future investments. Stability was being witnessed in the steel sector globally, though it had faced some problem two years ago, Narendran told reporters.

Ironically, much of Indian steel joy stems from its traditional rival China, where there’s been a visible improvement in the economy — which meant much of its steel being produced was once again being used within the country. It was against the backdrop of China’s economic slowdown that the global steel industry had faced distress due to decline in global demand.

The Indian survey report said, in response to the dumping of cheap imports, the government in 2016 introduced a host of measures like raising Basic Customs Duty, imposition of Minimum Import Price (MIP) and anti-dumping duties in order to shield domestic producers. The government imposed the MIP for steel in February 2016 for a period of one year.

On April 12, 2016, India initiated countervailing duty investigation concerning imports of certain hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless steel flat products originating in China.

According to the WTO, India’s share in total global steel exports increased from 1.1% in 2000 to 2.8% in 2016. During this period, China’s share in total steel exports rose from 3.7% in 2000 to 19.2% in 2016. Japan’s share in total steel exports in 2000 which was 12.2%, but fell to 9.1% in 2016.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. share in total steel imports was 17.0% in 2000, but has since come down to 12.1% in 2016.