U.S. government to refund NLMK subsidiary in settlement over import tariffs 

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The U.S. has agreed to refund “a significant portion, plus accrued interest” on an import tariff for slab imports to Russian steelmaking group Novolipetsk Steel’s U.S. subsidiary, the parent group said.

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U.S. subsidiary of Russian steelmaking group reaches deal on import tariff refund

The refund is the result of a settlement between NLMK USA and the federal government in a dispute over the refund of duties for slab imports.

However, the government did not admit to any improprieties, the group said in a mid-November statement.

Since 2018, steel imports into the United States are subject to duties imposed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The duties amounted to 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum, respectively, on imports from most countries.

NLMK USA normally sources slab from Novolipetsk Steel’s main plant at Lipetsk, in Russia. The slab is used for rolling at NLMK Indiana, as well as at NLMK Pennsylvania and Sharon Coating.

Costs to produce one metric tonne of steel in the United States are $460-500. Meanwhile, in Russia they are $320-350, industry watchers told MetalMiner.

Case background

NLMK USA originally brought the import tariff lawsuit in February against the government at the United States Court of International Trade. That claim covered 86 exclusions submitted for slab that the steelmaker submitted in 2018.

The U.S. Department of Commerce denied the requests. The department argued other steelmakers in the country claimed they were able to produce adequate supply of slab for rolling.

NLMK USA countered the department’s response, claiming local producers could produce neither the quality nor quantity that the subsidiary’s assets required.

Novolipetsk Steel’s Lipetsk plant can cast slab in 200-400 mm thicknesses and in widths of 900-2800 mm, information on the parent company’s site indicated.

The plant also has eight continuous casting machines with a total 14.6 million mty capacity, one analyst told MetalMiner.

NLMK USA’s Indiana site has one electric arc furnace with a 770,000 mty crude steel capacity. The site also has a hot strip mill that can roll 1.2 million mty.

NLMK Pennsylvania and Sharon Coating can produce up to 2 million mty of hot rolled coil and 900,000 mty of cold rolled coil.

The two coating lines in Pennsylvania can also roll 775,000 mty of galvanized and galvannealed coil.

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