Major European steelmakers including ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp and Salzgitter have urged the European Union to further lower quotas for steel imports into member countries, according to media reports. These steelmakers believe that the industry faces a threat from lower-priced imports, especially in the wake of a sharp decline in demand amid COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the recent adjustments to EC’s steel import safeguard measures originally chalked out in 2018, domestic markets face the risk of dumping, especially since some countries have massive stocks piled up.
Many steel exporters had stopped steel shipments to the US after Washington’s imposition of 25pc steel tariffs and are said to be mulling redirection of shipments to the EU. Thus, steelmakers seek a reduction in tariff-free quota size that reflects actual market conditions. According to a letter drafted by these producers, recent safeguard measures have not factored changed circumstances.
Steel demand in the EU fell by 50pc since March and around 40pc of the EU steel workforce either laid off or working part-time.
Davis Index had earlier reported about EC’s plan to safeguard member countries against 26 grades of steel, including stainless, flooding their markets. Imports over the pre-set quotas would be subjected to a 25pc duty.