Russia to Enact Trade Barriers on Ukrainian Goods, Including Steel

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With Ukraine set to sign a free-trade pact with the European Union on Friday, Russia has said it is likely to respond with trade barriers without seeking approval from Belarus and Kazakhstan, its partners in a customs union.

Ukraine is due to sign the second part of its association agreement with the EU on June 27. The pact has been at the heart of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not allow Urkaine to keep a zero-rate duty.

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Moscow fears that an influx of EU products into Ukraine will lead it to dump some of its own production in Russia. It is also concerned that Ukraine may re-export EU products into Russia, avoiding duties that Russia imposes to protect its own output.

Customs duties in Russia would put at risk some of Ukraine’s exports, which mainly consist of steel and other base metals, grains, machinery, equipment and processed food. Ukraine sends 24 percent of its exports to Russia, worth $15-billion a year.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price rose 0.3 percent on Monday, June 23, making it the day’s biggest mover. After three days of flat prices, it closed at $632.00 per short ton. Following three days of little change, the US HRC futures contract spot price rose by 0.3 percent to $670.00 per short ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.96) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.35) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 3,380 ($543.05) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($223.32) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $395.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet remained essentially flat at $400.00 per metric ton on the LME.

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