Steel Gets Real: Nations Stop Being Polite and Start Filing Anti-Dumping Actions

Since we remain ever vigilant on DumpWatch here at the Metalminer week-in-review, we couldn’t help but be proud of India, US steelmakers and even the EU who grew a spine and said “no mas” to illegal dumping of steel from several nations, principally China. The petitioning nations’ steel industries deserve mad props for standing up for their markets.

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China, you see, threw down the gauntlet two weeks ago when Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said the rise in steel exports from his country was due to higher global demand and was a natural result of Chinese steel products having “strong export competitiveness.”

“Export competitive” steel rod just looking for a new home somewhere other than China.

Ya Down With OPM (Other People’s Markets)?

Producing steel for overseas consumption to meet demand would be one thing but, as the American Iron & Steel Institute has long protested, China’s steel companies are subsidized at the state and national levels meaning they can often undercut prices in countries they export to by charging cost or even less than the cost of production thanks to the subsidies and what some say is a purposely devalued currency.

So, by calling Chinese steel “export competitive” Danyang was, essentially, saying “bring it” to all of the nations whose shores China exports its rebar, H-beams and coil products to. So, when six producers with major US operations —including Nucor Corp., ArcelorMittal USA, Steel Dynamics and U.S. Steel. — brought an anti-dumping action against China and four other nations this week over corrosion-resistant steel, they were saying, in international trade terms, “oh it’s already been brung, China!”

You Just Got Served

The US case, however, is the least of Chinese steel companies such as Baosteel‘s worries, as final rulings by the Commerce Department and US International Trade Commission aren’t expected until mid-2016. India has fast-tracked its beef with China’s dumpers and is already collecting duties. And they didn’t stop there. Malaysia and South Korea get their own duties when they try to bring that wack, cheap stainless steel into India.

Anti-dumping tariffs ranging between $180 and $316 per metric ton for industrial-grades of stainless steel have been imposed and are being collected at India’s borders as we speak. Not only are the duties already imposed, but N.C. Mathur, president of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) also said they were “long overdue.”

Oh, snap.

Right now, India is just collecting duties on hot-rolled coil products from the three countries but Mathur added that they might add cold-rolled tariffs, too, if the dumpers don’t step off. Okay, so he didn’t say “step off,” but the message was very clear as the tariffs were set for five years.

Keepin’ Electrical Steel Real

Prior to this week of anti-dumping actions, the European Union got in on the action by imposing duties of 28.7% from Chinese companies, including Baosteel and Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp over imports of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) and of 22.8% from South Korean producers such as POSCO. Even US producers such as AK Steel got hit with 22% tariffs. Once again proving that dumping steel in somebody else’s backyard ain’t nothin’ to mess around with.

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