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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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).
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.
The probe will cover the October 2017-September 2018 period, but data from 2015 will also be looked at by India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), which falls under the Commerce Ministry.
A report by the Press Trust of India said the investigation had been launched following a complaint by domestic producer JSW Steel Coated Products.
India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, has one of the highest trade tariffs in the world; for decades, its highly protectionist trade policy received flak.
Some experts have argued there was a risk that this protectionism could backfire somewhere down the line.
In the latest anti-dumping probe, it must be remembered that aluminum and zinc-coated steel are used largely in solar power projects, roofing and appliances (to name a few). India is currently very bullish on solar power projects; naturally, local producers are worried these projects have started using cheaper products from foreign shores.
If the allegation is eventually found to be true, the DGTR will then recommend imposition of the anti-dumping duty on the imports. The investigation has been initiated because there was some prima facie evidence found of dumping by the three countries.
The probe into the alleged dumping will help determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping, and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry, according to the DGTR.
The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock
This morning in metals news, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) made determinations in the anti-dumping and countervailing duty probes of large diameter welded pipe from Canada, Greece, South Korea and Turkey; Thyssenkrupp workers are looking for job guarantees in the case of a collapse of the German firm’s European joint venture with Tata Steel; and the Steel Authority of India Ltd. posted 8% crude steel production growth in fiscal year 2019.
The USITC made a number of determinations in the ongoing anti-dumping and countervailing duty probes related to imports of large diameter welded pipe from Greece, Turkey, South Korea and Canada.
“As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue: antidumping duty orders on imports of LDW carbon and alloy steel line pipe from Canada, Greece, Korea, and Turkey; a countervailing duty order on imports of LDW carbon and alloy steel line pipe from Korea; antidumping duty orders on imports of LDW carbon and alloy steel structural pipe from Canada, Korea, and Turkey; and a countervailing duty order on imports of LDW carbon and alloy steel structural pipe from Korea and Turkey,” the USITC stated in a release.
Thyssenkrupp Workers Look for Job Guarantees
Workers for German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp are looking for job assurances in case the firm’s planned 50:50 joint venture with Tata Steel doesn’t work out, Reuters reported.
The companies agreed to merge their European operations last year, creating what would ultimately be Europe’s second-largest steelmaking entity (behind only ArcelorMittal). Approval of the joint venture, however, is still pending review from European competition authorities.
In October, the European Commission launched an investigation of the proposed joint venture, noting concerns that the merger might “reduce competition in the supply of various high-end steels.”
SAIL Crude Steel Production Jumps 8%
The state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) posted crude steel production growth of 8% in fiscal year 2019, The Economic Times reported.