The European Commission is set to announce a long-mooted anti-dumping investigation into imports of hot-dip galvanized coils from China, according to multiple sources involved in the trade.
A number of trader and mill sources have told S&P Global Platts the EC will declare its intentions “imminently” in a move that is causing consternation for traders who already feel they are being squeezed out of the market by a raft of anti-dumping measures. They comments echo those of trade lawyer Fabricio di Gianni, who told a meeting in Italy on Thursday that a case against HDG from China and Korea is expected, as Platts reported.
Traders speaking to Platts at an International Steel Trade Association event in London noted large volumes of Chinese HDG being imported recently, with Duferco and Stemcor-affiliated companies understood to be the biggest players and much of the HDG being sourced from Hebei I&S and Anshan I&S. Trading sources said that, shortly after the initiation of duties for cold rolled coil, 75,000 mt of Chinese HDG was booked, with Duferco booking over 25,000 mt.
“Chinese galv isn’t even that competitive on price right now. But on the thinner gauges, the European mills don’t want to do it. The margins aren’t there for them,” a trader said.
However, mill sources said HDG prices should be higher and that, with automotive demand being so good, they should be enjoying stronger margins. “It should help the market. There are sites in Europe that closed because they could not make profits amid Chinese competition. By closing two or three lines and then having the barriers in we can get more reasonable prices,” one mill source said.
However, Jeff Kabel, chairman of ISTA, said they would be resistance to any potential measures, noting the association “will be formulating a plan of action.”
China has been a particular target for the EC with duties already imposed in recent years for rebar, cold rolled coil and organic-coated sheet, while investigations are ongoing for plate and hot rolled coil.
Peter Brennan, PLATTS