The European Union or EU28 has imposed provisional anti-dumping (AD) duties ranging from 6pc to 18.9pc on imports of certain flat-rolled stainless steel sheets and coils from China, Indonesia and Taiwan.
EU28 initiated an anti-dumping investigation on certain hot-rolled stainless steel sheets and coils (SSHR) imported into the region from Indonesia, China and Taiwan in August 2019 following a complaint filed by European Steel Association (Eurofer) on behalf of four European steel producers. The investigation included flat-rolled products of stainless steel coils or uncoiled (including cut-to-length and narrow strip products) not further worked than hot-rolled and excluding products, not in coils, of a width of 600 mm or more and a thickness exceeding 10 mm. These products include HS codes 721911, 721912, 721913, 721914, 721922, 721923, 7219 24, 722011 and 722012.
The investigation period for the allegations of dumping and injury was from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. The complainant provided evidence that imports of these products from these three countries increased in absolute terms as well as in terms of market share. The probe found that the volume and the prices of the imported products negatively impacted the quantities sold by the steel producers in the EU28 and injured the industry.
In the period of investigation, China exported 222,802mt of SSHR into Europe, which was 18.3pc market share of the Union market, while Indonesia exported 111,512mt, with 9.1pc market share and Taiwan 36,910mt with 3pc market share.
Significant distortions in the cost of production in terms of raw material price and labour costs in Indonesia and China provided an unfair advantage to producers in exporting countries. The complaint provided evidence that nickel and chromium price were distorted because of export restrictions in China (export tax on chromium and nickel) and Indonesia (10pc export duty on nickel ore and an export prohibition on nickel ore of higher concentration). Nickel and chromium form more than 17pc of the cost of production for stainless steel products under investigation, according to Eurofer.
In China, government intervention is overriding free market forces leading to lower costs of raw materials and energy which helps the domestic SSHR industry significantly reduce input cost, found the investigation.
The investigation concluded that on a type-by-type price comparison after adjusting for rebates and discounts, the weighted average undercutting margin of imports from Indonesia was 10.7pc, while that from China was 9.3pc and Taiwan was 4.1pc.
In 2019, steel producers in Europe suffered from low-priced imports from China and other countries driven by global steel overcapacity. Eurofer stated that EU28 had an unused capacity of over 2mn mt and could satisfy the entire demand of SSHR in the European market, regardless of product types.
According to the European Union, in the interest of the Union as provisional measures, anti-dumping duties should be imposed on imports of certain flat-rolled products of stainless steel as per the table below.
|Anti-dumping duty imposed by the EU|
|Country||Company||Provisional AD duty|
|Indonesia||PT Indonesia Guang Ching Nickel||17.00pc|
|Indonesia||PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel||17.00pc|
|Indonesia||All other companies||17.00pc|
|China||Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co., Ltd.||18.90pc|
|China||Fujian Fuxin Special Steel Co., Ltd||14.50pc|
|China||Xiangshui Defeng Metals Co., Ltd||17.40pc|
|China||Fujian Dingxin Technology Co., Ltd.||17.40pc|
|China||All other companies||18.90pc|
|Taiwan||Yieh United Steel Co.||6.00pc|
|Taiwan||Tang Eng Iron Works Co. Ltd.||6.00pc|
|Taiwan||Walsin Lihwa Co.||7.50pc|
|Taiwan||All other companies||7.50pc|
Steel sector in Europe is expected to be severely impacted by US steel tariffs directly and as well as due to the transfer of US-bound steel exports into the Europe market. The continued global overcapacity and the gap between Europe’s steel capacity and actual production is expected to widening in the recent months, according to Eurofer. Last week, the association had requested EU28 for stringent safeguard reviews and new import restrictions and regulations to help the steel industry survive the COVID-19 crisis.