The European steel association, Eurofer, has started collecting evidence of dumping from the four countries and is preparing to make a decision on filing the complaint to the European Commission, Steel First understands.
“The rumours about the possible anti-dumping investigation into imported wire rod have been circulating in the market for about two weeks. It seems to be part of the EU strategy to become more [protectionist] when it comes to cheap imports,” a trader told Steel First on the sidelines of the conference in the Czech Republic capital city.
“Eurofer has not sent any official complaints or other papers to the EC yet, but the discussion is going on within Eurofer,” another trader said at the same event.
Eurofer declined to comment.
The monthly average of wire rod imports into the European Union jumped by 23% year-on-year to 139,000 tonnes in 2015, according to the latest data from Eurofer. And in the first two months of 2016, average import levels of the material reached 144,000 tpm.
Monthly average wire rod exports from Ukraine to the EU have increased by 24% year-on-year to 31,000 tonnes last year, and reached 35,000 tpm in January-February 2016.
Belarus exported an average of 10,000 tpm of wire rod to Europe in 2015, after no shipments to the EU in 2014, with the figure jumping to 15,000 tpm in January-February this year.
Russian steelmakers, meanwhile, saw their average exports of the product to Europe increase by 89% year-on-year to 17,000 tpm in 2015. However, average sales from Russia in January-February this year fell to 11,000 tpm.
Wire rod imports from Turkey averaged 10,000 tpm in 2015, up by 17% year-on-year, while in the first two months of this year the average has dropped to 3,000 tpm.
The EC initiated an anti-dumping probe into rebar from Belarus in late March this year, and imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on high-fatigue performance (HFP) rebar imported from China in January.
Nina Nasman in London contributed to this report.
By Maria Tanatar from Steel First.