Articles in Category: Anti-Dumping

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This morning in metals news, U.S. raw steel production in 2019 increased 1.9% over 2018, Rio Tinto announced plans to resume operations at its Richards Bay Minerals site in South Africa and the U.S. Department of Commerce made an affirmative preliminary antidumping duty determination related to collated steel staples from China.

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U.S. raw steel production rises 1.9% in 2019

U.S. raw steel production in 2019 (through Dec. 28) totaled 96.3 million tons, marking a 1.9% year-over-year increase, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Capacity utilization rate for the period in question reached 80.2%, up from 78.2% for the same period in 2018.

Rio Tinto to resume operations at Richards Bay Minerals

Miner Rio Tinto recently announced plans to resume its operations at its Richards Bay Minerals site in South Africa.

“Rio Tinto has today started the process of resuming operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa,” Rio Tinto said. “This follows discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders focused on securing stability in order to address the issues in the community and provide the stable environment necessary for RBM to resume operations.

“A phased restart is now in progress across the operation, with RBM expected to return to full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020. Rio Tinto is contacting customers who were advised of a force majeure in their supply that this has now been lifted. Rio Tinto will review the restart of the Zulti South project after normalisation of operations at RBM.”

Rio Tinto said titanium dioxide slag production for 2019 is expected to fall at the lower end of its previous forecast of between 1.2 million and 1.4 million tons.

DOC announces antidumping duty determination on collated steel staples

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary antidumping duty determination related to imports of collated steel staples from China.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

According to the DOC, the product in question has been dumped into the U.S. at a margin of 301.64%.

Imports of collated steel staples from China amounted to a value of $88.8 million in 2018, according to the DOC.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: India’s Hindalco, U.S. steel capacity utilization, Trump’s trade deals, the Department of Commerce’s circumvention rulings on steel routed through Vietnam, U.S. industrial production and more.

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Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued five affirmative determinations in anti-dumping and countervailing subsidy circumvention investigations related to steel imports that had been shipped through Vietnam but originally produced elsewhere.

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According to the Department of Commerce, the steel in question includes corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) and cold-rolled steel (CRS) that is produced in Korea and Taiwan and then shipped to Vietnam for “minor processing.”

“As a result of today’s determinations, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of CORE and CRS produced in Vietnam using Korean- or Taiwanese-origin substrate,” the DOC said. “These duties apply to any unliquidated entries since August 2, 2018, the date on which Commerce initiated these circumvention inquiries.”

According to the DOC, cash deposit rates in the cases will be as high as 456.20%, depending on the “origin of the substrate and the type of steel product exported to the United States.”

The value of shipments of CORE from Vietnam to the U.S. skyrocketed 4,353%, from $23 million during the April 2012 to December 2015 period to $1.1 billion during the period from January 2016 to September 2019.

CORE and CRS producers whose petitions prompted the investigation were: Steel Dynamics, Inc.; California Steel Industries; AK Steel Corporation; ArcelorMittal USA LLC; Nucor Corporation; and United States Steel Corporation.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross met with Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh to discuss strengthening trade ties between the two countries.

“Vietnam is taking many solutions to balance its trade with the US, such as stepping up cooperative ties with the federal government and state administrations in the fields of mutual interest and encouraging the import of goods and services from the US, the minister stressed,” a Ministry of Industry and Trade release regarding the Nov. 8 meeting stated.

“Regarding cooperation in the fight against goods origin frauds and illegal transshipment, Anh suggested that the two sides should further strengthen the coordination mechanism, especially after the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) is signed in the coming time.”

U.S. trade with Vietnam totaled an estimated $62.6 billion in 2018, according to the United States Trade Representative.

The U.S. had a trade in goods deficit with Vietnam of $39.5 billion in 2018. Through the first 10 months of 2019, the U.S.’s trade in goods deficit with Vietnam was $46.3 billion, with import value already in excess of the 2018 full-year total.

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

This morning in metals news, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced rulings in investigations of stainless steel kegs from China and Germany, copper prices rose on labor tensions in Chile, and the UAW’s strike continues as it mulls ratification of a tentative deal with General Motors reached last week.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

DOC Makes Final Determinations on Stainless Steel Keg Imports

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday announced it had made affirmative final determinations in its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations of imports of stainless steel kegs from China and Germany.

The DOC determined the countries sold the kegs at less than fair values, ranging from 0 to 77.13% and 7.47%, respectively.

The DOC also determined that exporters from China received countervailable subsidies at rates ranging from 16.21% to 145.23%.

Copper Rises on Chile Labor Developments

LME copper reached a one-month high amid strikes at Chilean copper mines operated by Antofagasta and Teck Resources, Reuters reported.

LME three-month copper rose as much as 0.5% Monday, Reuters reported, up to $5,837.50 per ton.

GM Awaits UAW Vote on Deal

Last week, General Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union announced they had reached a tentative deal that could potentially end the strike that has lingered for well over a month.

However, the strike continues, for now, as UAW members must vote on the deal.

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If the deal is approved, talks will then shift to Ford and Fiat Chrysler, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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This morning in metals news, Rio Tinto released its third-quarter production figures, India has proposed an anti-dumping duty on flat-rolled steel from China and other countries, and copper prices dropped after a strike was averted at Chile’s Antofagasta.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Rio Tinto Posts Strong Third Quarter

Miner Rio Tinto posted third-quarter iron ore production of 87.3 million tons, marking a 6% increase on a year-over-year basis and a 10% increase compare with Q2 2019.

Bauxite production increased 9% year over year, while aluminum production fell 3%.

“We have delivered improved production across the majority of our products in the third quarter, with a solid result at our Pilbara mines driving increased sales of iron ore into robust markets,” Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques said. “Our strong value over volume approach, coupled with our focus on operational performance and disciplined allocation of capital, will continue to deliver superior returns to shareholders over the short, medium and long term.”

India Proposes Anti-Dumping Duty on Chinese Flat-Rolled Steel

The Indian government Tuesday proposed a new flat-rolled steel anti-dumping duty on imports from China, Vietnam and South Korea, Reuters reported.

The duty, once implemented, will be effective for six months, according to the report.

Copper Drops on Antofagasta News

After Chilean copper miner Antofagasta reached a new 36-month contract with laborers at its Los Pelambres mine, copper prices moved downward, Reuters reported.

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Three-month LME copper dipped 0.2% Wednesday to $5,764 per ton, according to the report.

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This morning in metals news, U.S. import market share for steel reached 17% in September, the European Commission is investigating potential dumping of hot-rolled stainless steel from China and Indonesia, and India is set to become a net importer of iron ore.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Steel Import Market Share 17% in September

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), U.S. steel import market share hit 17% in September, down from the 20% for the year to date.

Steel import permit applications totaled 1.97 million net tons for the month, down 9.4% from import permit tons recorded in August.

European Commission to Launch Anti-Dumping Probe

The European Commission is set to investigate potential dumping of hot-rolled stainless steel from China and Indonesia, Reuters reported.

In addition, the European Commission has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties of up to 66% on steel road wheels imported from China, according to the report.

India to Become Net Iron Ore Importer

India is set to become a net importer of iron ore in the next financial year, the Hellenic Shipping News reported.

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The Indian government is auctioning off iron ore blocks ahead of the expiration of a number of mining leases early next year; however, potential hang-ups in the process could leave the country short on available iron ore supply, leading to the necessity to import the steelmaking material.

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For once, President Donald Trump should be pleased with the World Trade Organization (WTO), a body he has repeatedly criticized and actively worked to undermine by preventing the appointment of new judges to its appeals panel.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

On Oct. 2, the WTO ruled in the U.S.’s favor, agreeing to the largest tariff penalty in its history. The case is the long-running dispute between the U.S. and the E.U. over supposed illegal subsidies provided by both governments to its major plane manufacturers.

The standoff started in 2004 when the U.S. brought action against the E.U. for cheap loans afforded to Airbus. The E.U. promptly countered, saying the U.S. gave subsidies and extensive military contracts to Boeing that effectively provided the same (or similar) support.

The reality is aircraft design and development is such a risky long-haul venture that no one would do it without some level of state support.

The U.S. has done it over decades. Various European governments — and the E.U. as a whole — have too, as have the Japanese and, now, the Chinese.

Whether the subsides granted to Boeing and Airbus are more than legally appropriate will continue to be a source of revenue for expensive lawyers for years to come.

The WTO is due to rule in eight months’ time on whether U.S. subsidies to Boeing are lawful; the sense seems to be the WTO will rule they were not and, as such, we will be back to square one.

According to the Financial Times, the WTO authorized the U.S. to levy tariffs of up to 100% on $7.5 billion of the $11 billion the U.S. had originally applied to penalize. To the U.S.’s credit, the decision initially is to levy tariffs of 10% on aircraft and 25% on a diverse range of other products, as the below chart from the Financial Times illustrates — perhaps meant to encourage dialogue.

Source: Financial Times

While a lot of hot air is blowing around, it would seem neither side wants a full-blown trade war over this issue.

Aircraft parts have been exempted from any immediate tariffs, said by the Financial Times to be in a reprieve for Airbus’ manufacturing plant in Alabama. Airbus, on the other hand, has cautioned that 40% of its aircraft-related procurement comes from U.S. suppliers, supporting some 275,000 American jobs in 40 states — any escalation will have a direct hit on the U.S. aircraft supply chain.

U.S. carriers share prices have taken a hit as concerns were raised that Boeing would not be able to meet demand and U.S. carriers would be forced to simply pay more for Airbus aircraft.

As such, one can see what a blunt instrument tariffs are; the ripple of unintended consequences spreads like a rock dropped in a lake, never mind a pebble in a pond.

Unless the U.S. announces a stay of execution, the E.U. can expect the imposition of tariffs on Oct. 18, with the biggest impact falling on the approximately $5.1 billion worth of aircraft imported in 2018; however, according to the Economist, only a portion of this total will be hit.

In the meantime, both sides are awaiting the WTO’s ruling on the case against the U.S. providing subsidies to Boeing.

As such, any resolution before May next year is unlikely. The aviation industry on both sides of the Atlantic can expect disruption and cost increases.

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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.