Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Korea Fair Trade Commission, the South Korean antitrust regulator plans to file complaints against four steelmakers for collusion to fix steel scrap purchase prices.


According to South Korean media reports, the commission fined seven steelmakers, which includes Hyundai Steel, in late January for a collective KRW300bn ($271.1mn) for conspiring to fix steel scrap purchase prices from 2010-2018.


The commercial overseer has now elected to file formal complaints with the prosecution against Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk Steel, and two other steelmakers, citing serious violations of market competition laws.


The commission will also turn Seah Besteel and three of its employees over to the prosecution for hindering the official investigation.


Steel scrap supply in the local market has commonly fallen short of demand, according to reports, as the seven steelmakers allegedly planned methods to obtain the material while moderating the purchase price leading to an obstruction of market competition.


Media reports cite that Hyundai Steel faces the highest charges of KRW90.9bn, with Dongkuk Steel facing KRW49.9bn in fines.


The steel producers plan to file an administrative suit against the decision, based on their view on the extent of fines being disproportionate, per reports.


($1 = KRW1106.81)

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