The Commerce Department set preliminary duties on millions of dollars worth of imports of steel rebar from Turkey and Mexico yesterday. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) launched investigations after a petition was filed last year by Nucor and other domestic manufacturers. The trade commission found there was reasonable indication the imports were harming local firms.
The department set dumping duties of up to 66.7 percent and 20.59 percent on imports from Mexico, mainly because one of the Mexican companies refused to provide data to the ITC, and duties of up to 2.6 percent on Turkish imports. The US companies alleged that companies from the two countries were selling steel rebar, which is used to reinforce concrete, at unfairly low prices, Reuters reported. This is only a preliminary decision and a final decision is due on July 2.
The manufacturers accuse Mexican and Turkish competitors of unfairly undercutting US prices to grab sales and market share, a trade strategy known as “dumping.” Yesterday’s preliminary ruling set a duty of 2.64 percent on Turkish steel, except for those from producers Habaş Sinai ve Tıbbi Gazlar İstihsal Endüstrisi A.Ş., which was excused.
Duties will apply on goods from Mexico’s Grupo Simec and Turkey’s İçdaş Çelik Enerji Tersane ve Ulaşım Sanayi A.Ş from next week. Duties on other imports will be backdated 90 days, to start in late January.
In the Mexico investigation, mandatory respondents Deacero S.A.P.I. de C.V. and Grupo Acerero S.A. de C.V. received preliminary dumping margins of 20.59 percent and 66.70 percent, respectively. Grupo Acerero’s margin is based on adverse facts available because it failed to respond to the Department’s questionnaire. This could be the first step by Acerero to appeal to the Court of International Trade, the next step as outlined in the North American Free Trade Agreement and argue that the ITC hearing was not fair.
The day’s biggest mover broke away from a static phase with a 1.5 percent jump on Monday, April 21. After three changeless days, the price of Chinese HRC closed at CNY 3,450 ($553.80) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,390 ($223.12) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese slab saw little movement at CNY 3,480 ($558.61) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.84) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.23) per dry metric ton.
The steel billet cash price saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $390.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat at $400.00 per metric ton on the LME.
The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $655.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price held steady around $656.00 per short ton.