US Will End Agreement Suspending Duties on Russian Steel

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Coiled steel for import

The Department of Commerce will terminate a 15-year-old deal sheltering Russian flat-rolled steel producers from high import duties, it said in a letter to Russian authorities, Reuters reported.

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In the letter published on Monday, the government gave Russia 60 days notice of the termination and said anti-dumping duties would then apply.

The so-called suspension agreement has sheltered Russian steelmakers from anti-dumping duties as high as 184.56 percent on hot-rolled, flat-rolled, carbon quality steel, instead setting a cap on imports and a minimum price.

Duties will apply beginning Dec. 16, according to the letter. Severstal, one of Russia’s top steel producers, blasted the proposed move. It claimed there was “no objective reason” for it because the price of hot-rolled coil in the US market has actually risen this year and it indicated it might appeal the decision to “defend our interests.”

A spokesman for the Russian ministry told Reuters his office had received the formal notice and was studying the issue.

The Obama administration has intensified sanctions against Russia over its intervention in Ukraine in recent months.

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Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.77) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.14) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC reached a 30-day low after decreasing 0.3% to CNY 2,970 ($483.57) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw little movement at CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price remained essentially flat at $465.00 per metric ton on the LME. For the fifth consecutive day, the 3-month price of steel billet held flat on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price declined 1.3% to $630.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw a 0.9% decline to $632.00 per short ton.

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