US Steel, Nucor, Other Steelmakers Want US-Russia Flat-Rolled Steel Pact Scrapped

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US steel producers on Thursday accused Russia of flooding the market with cheap flat-rolled steel, challenging a 15-year trade deal and potentially reigniting a decades-old dispute over imports amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow, Reuters reported.

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In a submission to the Commerce Department, Nucor Corp, US Steel Corp, ArcelorMittal and others said the agreement had not stopped Russian producers from undercutting local prices or flooding the US market with a 1,400 percent shipment increase in the first half of 2014 compared with the year-ago period.

“The agreement has failed in achieving its statutory purpose and thus should be promptly terminated,” said the submission, released by steel industry lawyers.

Scrapping the 1999 suspension agreement would be in line with the U.S. administration’s tougher stance toward Russia following a flare-up in tensions over Ukraine.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.49) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.87) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC saw little change in its price on Thursday at CNY 3,390 ($546.78) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 1,390 ($224.20) per metric ton.

Also on the LME, the steel billet cash price held steady around $395.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat at $400.00 per metric ton on the LME.

The US HRC futures contract spot price changed direction with a 0.3 percent drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at $670.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little change in its price yesterday at $640.00 per short ton.

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