Articles in Category: Anti-Dumping

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued affirmative determinations in its anti-dumping investigation of fabricated structural steel imports, Turkey’s largest industrial group will halt steel production and a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit poses a roadblock for Novelis‘ bid to buy Aleris.

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U.S. DOC Rules on Fabricated Structural Steel Imports

The Department of Commerce has made affirmative preliminary determinations in its anti-dumping probe of imports of fabricated structural steel from Mexico and China.

The DOC found dumping margins for China and Mexico ranging from 0.00% to 141.38% and 0.00% to 30.58%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the DOC issued a negative determination with respect to imports from Canada.

Turkey’s Largest Industrial Group to Pause Steel Production

According to a report by Ahval, Turkey’s largest industrial group plans to halt steel production due to challenging market conditions.

According to the report, Koç Holding’s Koç Çelik unit will halt production from September until the end of January.

Novelis-Aleris Deal

Novelis‘ planned purchase of Aleris is under scrutiny.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to prevent the move, citing concerns over potentially higher prices for automotive aluminum sheet.

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The $2.6 billion purchase was initially announced in July 2018.

On April 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on certain types of aluminum foil from China.

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Chinese producers appealed the decision, but the U.S. Court of International Trade this month opted to uphold the Commerce Department’s determination.

The Chinese plaintiffs lodging the appeal were: Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., (HK) Ltd., Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Stock Co. Ltd., and Jiangsu Huafeng Aluminium Industry Co., Ltd.

Zhongji’s appeal focused on five aspects of the Commerce Department’s decision, including: the use of South Africa as the primary surrogate country in the case; using Descartes instead of Xeneta data to value international freight; valuing Zhongji’s aluminum scrap using the incorrect HTS classification; calculating Zhongji’s VAT adjustment “based on the wrong transaction”; and the deferment of the Commerce Department’s decision past the statutory deadline.

Zhongji argued the selection of South Africa as a surrogate country for comparison was not appropriate, claiming South African aluminum foil exports were distorted by subsidies and that Bulgaria’s aluminum foil values were more closely aligned with those of Zhongji.

The court, however, said Zhongji’s arguments did not meet the necessary legal standard.

“The subsidies alleged by Zhongji do not meet the ‘reason to believe or suspect’ standard,” the court stated in its case summary. “When there is evidence of a potential subsidy but Commerce has not previously found the specific program to be countervailable, Commerce does not per se reject the data in question and requires evidence of distortion before it will reject it.”

The court acknowledged that the Commerce Department did in fact submit its determination after both the 140- and 190-day statutory deadlines (the latter used for “extraordinarily complicated” cases).

“All parties agree that Commerce violated even the later deadline, which fell on October 4, 2017, by publishing its preliminary determination in the Federal Register on November 2, 2017,” the court summary states. “However, Commerce’s late filing of a preliminary determination does not preclude it from issuing an affirmative preliminary determination, as precedent dictates that statutory deadlines are not mandatory in the absence of an express statement of consequences from Congress.

“In light of this precedent, the court affirms Commerce’s affirmative preliminary determination and collection of duty deposits notwithstanding the missed deadline.”

Ultimately, Judge Gary S. Katzmann ruled in favor of the Commerce Department.

“The court affirms Commerce’s selection of primary surrogate country and data to value Zhongji’s aluminum foil inputs, as Commerce was within its discretion under 19 U.S.C. § 1677b and Policy Bulletin 04.1 in making those selections based on the evidence in the record,” Katzmann wrote. “Additionally, the court grants Commerce’s request for a remand to recalculate its VAT adjustment using the correct sale price. Finally, the court affirms Commerce’s preliminary determination and collection of duty deposits notwithstanding its violation of the statutory deadline.”

The Commerce Department now must file with the court and provide to the parties a revised determination of its VAT calculation within 90 days.

After the requisite determination is filed and provided to the relevant parties, “the parties shall have 30 days to submit briefs addressing the revised final determination to the court and the parties shall have 15 days thereafter to file reply briefs with the court.”

The Aluminum Association expressed its support for the court’s ruling.

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“The Aluminum Association was pleased that the U.S. Court of International Trade affirmed the bulk of the Department of Commerce’s final antidumping determination on certain aluminum foil from China,” said Lauren Wilk, the Aluminum Association’s vice president for policy and international trade. “The court’s decision reinforces the critical role rules play in a functioning global trading system. Targeted trade enforcement – as we’ve seen successfully deployed in the U.S. markets for aluminum foil and common alloy sheet– can have a meaningful and positive impact on U.S. manufacturers.

“The association and its member companies are determined to vigorously defend these orders and are committed to trade enforcement as a tool to address the symptoms of persistent Chinese overcapacity in the aluminum industry, which is impacting the entire value chain.”

Source: The Coca-Cola Company

This morning in metals news, beverage maker Coca-Cola has announced it will shift to aluminum cans for its Dasani water brand, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it found evidence of dumping of refillable stainless steel kegs from Mexico and China still plans to send trade officials to Washington next month for talks.

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Coca-Cola Announces New Dasani Packaging

In an effort to reduce plastic use and increase the use of recyclable materials, Coca-Cola announced plans to shift its Dasani water brand’s packaging from plastic bottles to aluminum.

“Updates to DASANI’s packaging line-up are designed to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of recycled and renewable materials in the United States, while ensuring that all DASANI bottles continue to be fully recyclable,” the company said.

Under the beverage maker’s proposed “World Without Waste” program, it aims to produce make its bottles and cans with an average of 50% recycled material by 2030. The company will roll out the water brand in aluminum cans in the northeastern U.S. in the fall (and 2020 everywhere else), and aluminum bottles in mid-2020.

U.S. Rules on Stainless Steel Keg Dumping Case

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced it had found evidence of dumping with respect to imports of stainless steel kegs from Mexico.

According to the department, the kegs were sold at less than fair value in the U.S. at a rate of 18.48%.

Last year, imports of the kegs from Mexico were valued at $13.4 million, according to the Department of Commerce.

China to Continue with Planned September Meetings

Despite the recent U.S. announcement of tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods, Chinese trade officials still plan to visit Washington in September as planned, Bloomberg reported.

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However, according to a source cited by Bloomberg, China is unlikely to make concessions next month.

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This morning in metals news, China is poised to to impose anti-dumping duties on a number of countries, Nucor says it is happy with the results of the Trump administration’s tariffs and Brazilian miner Vale’s second-quarter output plunged.

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China to Hit Imports of Stainless Steel with Anti-Dumping Duty

China is set to impose an anti-dumping duty on imports of stainless steel from the E.U., Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, Reuters reported.

According to the report, the duties — covering billets and hot-rolled steel plates — will go into effect July 23.

Nucor ‘Pleased’ with Tariffs

Nucor CEO John Ferriola told CNBC the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel have worked.

“The anticipated response was domestic capacity coming on line to replace the lower imported steel,” Ferriola said during a CNBC interview last week. “That’s exactly what happened.”

Vale Output Down in Q2

Brazilian miner Vale reported its second-quarter iron ore output fell 33.8% year over year. Production was down 12.1% compared with Q1 2019, according to the miner.

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A January tailings dam collapse at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in Brumadinho sent shock waves through the iron ore market and led to more than 200 deaths.

In addition, heavy rains in March, April and May also impacted operations.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced late last week that it found evidence of dumping and countervailable subsidization of steel racks from China.

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According to the DOC, imports of the steel racks from China were dumped into the U.S. at less than fair value at rates ranging from 18.06% to 144.50%.

The DOC also determined the steel racks benefited from countervailable subsidies ranging from 1.50% to 102.23%.

According to the Department of Commerce, imports of steel racks from China were valued at $200 million in 2017.

The case is spurred by a petition from the Coalition for Fair Rack Imports filed in June 2018. The coalition’s members are: Bulldog Rack Company (Weirton, West Virginia), Hannibal Industries, Inc. (Los Angeles, California), Husky Rack and Wire (Denver, North Carolina), Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. (North East, Pennsylvania), SpaceRak (Marysville, Michigan), Speedrack Products Group, Ltd. (Sparta, Michigan), Steel King Industries, Inc. (Stevens Point, Wisconsin), Tri-Boro Shelving & Partition Corp. (Farmville, Virginia), and UNARCO Material Handling, Inc. (Springfield, Tennessee).

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make its final determinations in the case by Sept. 3. If the USITC rules in the affirmative, the Department of Commerce will issue anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders.

The DOC applied the 18.06% dumping rate for Nanjing Dongsheng Shelf Manufacturing Co., Ltd., while the China-wide entity was assessed at a 144.50% dumping rate.

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As for countervailing subsidies, the DOC said Nanjing Dongsheng Shelf Manufacturing Co., Ltd. benefited from countervailable subsidies at a rate of 1.50%, while adverse facts available led to a rate of 102.23% for other companies.

From 2016 to 2017, imports of steel racks by tonnage increased 15.7%, up to 371,082 tons in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the U.S. Department of Commerce made affirmative determinations in two of three countervailing duty investigations regarding fabricated structural steel, Chinese copper smelters inked deals with Chile’s Antofagasta and India is investigating dumping claims vis-a-vis flat-rolled steel imports from 15 countries.

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DOC Rules on Possible CVD

The Department of Commerce issued affirmative determinations in its countervailing duty probes of fabricated structural steel imports from China and Mexico.

The DOC found imports of the products from China and Mexico benefited from countervailable subsidies at rates ranging from 30.30-177.43% and 0.01 (de minimis)-74.01%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the DOC made a negative determination vis-a-vis Canada, finding that exporters received countervailable subsidies at de minimis levels ranging from 0.12-0.45%.

Chinese Smelters Sign Antofagasta Deals

China’s top two copper smelters have inked concentrate supply deals with Chilean miner Antofagasta, Reuters reported.

According to the report, Jiangxi Copper Co and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group inked the contracts earlier than usual on account of tightness in the copper concentrate market.

India to Investigate Anti-Dumping Claims

India will investigate dumping claims with respect to imports of flat-rolled steel from 15 countries, including China, the U.S. and Japan, the Economic Times reported.

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Domestic entities Indian Stainless Steel Development Association, Jindal Stainless, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) and Jindal Stainless Steelway filed petitions with India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) alleging dumping of flat-rolled steel from the 15 countries.

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This morning in metals news, steelmaker ArcelorMittal has concerns over a new law Italy is set to approve later this month, Vietnam plans to impose anti-dumping duties on coated steel from China and South Korea, and a work stoppage continues at Codelco’s Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile.

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ArcelorMittal Looks for ‘Legal Certainty’ in New Italian Law

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal and its Italian subsidiary, ArcelorMittal Italia (AMI), have expressed concerns to the Italian government regarding its new Crescita law decree, which it is scheduled to be ratified later this month.

“If ratified as currently drafted, the provision concerning the Taranto plant would impair any operator’s ability to operate the plant while implementing the environmental plan approved by the Italian Government in September 2017, including for ArcelorMittal,” the steelmaker argued in a release. “The Taranto plant has been under seizure since 2012 and cannot be operated without legal protection until the environmental plan is implemented.”

The steelmaker continues added the Crescita law removes “legal safeguards.”

“However, the Crescita law decree removes the legal safeguards existing when ArcelorMittal agreed to invest in the Taranto plant,” the firm said. “These safeguards are necessary until the company has completed the environmental plan to avoid incurring liability for issues that it did not create.”

With the law set to be ratified by June 29, the steelmaker said amendments can be made.

“AMI remains hopeful that, as part of the amendment process, legal certainty will be restored in the interest of the Italian economy and of the stakeholders of ArcelorMittal Italia, enabling AMI to continue operate of the plant while completing the environmental requalification plan,” the firm said.

Vietnam Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties

Vietnam will impose anti-dumping duties on imports of coated steel from China and South Korea, S&P Global Platts reported.

According to the report, the duties are set to take effect June 25 and extend for about four months.

Work Stoppage Continues at Chuquicamata

The No. 1 copper producer in the world, Chile’s Codelco, is facing a work stoppage at its Chuquicamata mine, Bloomberg reported.

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The stoppage hit its seventh day Thursday, according to the report, after labor unions called the latest Codelco offer “irresponsible.”

Source: Tesla

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

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The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) last week made a preliminary affirmative determination in an anti-dumping probe related to imports of steel wheels from China.

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“Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of steel wheels 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter from China, finding that exporters from China have been dumping certain steel wheels in the United States at margins ranging from 38.27 to 44.35 percent,” the DOC announced.

The case was prompted by a petition from Elkhart, Indiana-based Dexstar Wheel, a division of Americana Development, Inc.

According to the DOC, imports of steel wheels from China in 2017 were valued at $87.2 million. By volume, the U.S. imported 42,195 metric tons of the product in 2015, which jumped to 46,264 metric tons in 2016 and 50,656 metric tons in 2017, according to a DOC fact sheet.

The department calculated dumping margins of 38.27% for Changzhou Chungang Machinery Co., Ltd and a 44.35% China-wide margin.

The scope of the investigation included “certain on-the-road steel wheels, discs, and rims for tubeless tires with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 inches to 16.5 inches, regardless of width.”

The next step is a final determination by the DOC, scheduled to come down by July 2, 2019. If the DOC rules in the affirmative again and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) also issues a final affirmative determination, the DOC will then issue an anti-dumping order.

The ITC is scheduled to make its final determination by Aug. 15, 2019.

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According to the DOC, the Trump administration has initiated 157 new anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, marking a 283% increase from investigations launched during the equivalent period of the previous administration.

Trade talks aiming at a resolution to trade differences between the U.S. and China are ongoing. Reuters reported the next round of talks is scheduled for April 30 in Beijing, with additional talks scheduled for May 8 in Washington, D.C.

A year on from the U.S.’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on Chinese aluminum foil, imports of the product have plunged.

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The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group filed a petition requesting relief from imports of Chinese aluminum foil in May 2017. Almost one year later, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum foil from China ranging from 55-176%.

Since then, according to an Aluminum Association white paper released Tuesday titled “Targeted Trade Enforcement in Action: Aluminum Foil AD/CVD One Year Later,” imports of Chinese aluminum foil have fallen significantly.

Imports of aluminum foil from China by volume fell 64% from 2017 to 2018, down from 272.4 million tons to 97.7 million tons. The white paper also notes imports of “unfairly traded aluminum foil” from China accounted for 60% of U.S. import market share in 2017, but just 20% in 2018.

Monthly U.S. imports of Chinese aluminum foil, 2010-2018. Source: Aluminum Association

The white paper also touts an increase in investment in the domestic aluminum industry.

“Companies like JW Aluminum and Granges worked for the past several years to reinvest in the U.S. foil industry,” the Aluminum Association white paper states. “These firms have announced substantial capital investments – with a combined value of approximately $169 million – to expand and strengthen facilities at which they manufacture aluminum foil.”

Aluminum Association President and CEO Heidi Brock lauded the trade action’s impact on the domestic aluminum industry.

“One year after taking strong action to enforce our nation’s trade laws, we are seeing clear and significant progress in the U.S. aluminum foil market,” Brock said. “We’d once again like to recognize the hard work of the administration, including the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission, in helping aluminum foil producers in the U.S. to compete on a level-playing field.”

Brock also highlighted the action taken vis-a-vis aluminum foil compared with the Trump administration’s blanket tariffs on steel and aluminum imports via a Section 232 probe. In that case, the Aluminum Association has called for the tariffs on trading partners like Canada and Mexico to be removed and for the Trump administration’s trade enforcement focus to be squared on Chinese overcapacity.

“Not all tariffs are created equal,” Brock said. “Targeted trade enforcement as we’ve seen successfully deployed in the aluminum foil and, more recently, common alloy sheet, markets are the best way to make an impact. This approach allows us to effectively address issues in the marketplace while avoiding needless and disruptive tariffs on vital trading partners who play by the rules.”

The Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminum — of 25% and 10%, respectively — remain in effect with respect to imports from Canada and Mexico. That fact remains a sticking point in the ongoing process to approve the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the intended successor to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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The USMCA was signed by President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto during the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires late last year. However, the agreement must be ratified by each country’s legislature before it can go into effect.