The European Commission (EC) announced Friday HRC imports from Russia and Brazil into the EU are now subject to registration, a move which could lead to a retroactive duty if the ongoing investigation results in the imposition of anti-dumping duties.
The EC said in its official Journal that, following evidence provided in a complaint from Eurofer, it set the estimated dumping margin at 20-50% ad valorem on the CIF import value. The EC assessed that despite the rising trend of import prices from Russia and Brazil, the absolute level of import prices remained at a “critically low level”. “In particular, it was lower than the costs of production of the EU’s [steel] industry at the end of 2015,” the EC said.
As reported, Eurofer lodged a complaint concerning HRC imports from Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine in May 2016 and filed a registration request in October after records showed imports rising significantly following the start of EC investigations in July.
As part of this investigation the EC examined the third quarter of 2016 and concluded that “this substantial increase in the level of these Russian and Brazilian imports is likely to seriously undermine the remedial effect of any definitive duties, unless such duties would be applied retroactively”.
According to the latest data (to October 2016) from Eurofer, Russian imports reached their highest level of 2016 in October at 211,000 metric tons, compared to the 85,000 mt of imports made in October 2015. In contrast Brazil’s EU imports fell, reaching its highest point in 2016 for October at 102,000 mt, compared to 107,000 mt imported in October 2015.
According to the EC, imports from Iran, Serbia and Ukraine saw no substantial increase in volumes during the time period.
Investigations usually take nine months at the EC, but recent investigations have been sped up, taking just eight months. The registration measure can be reaffirmed in six months’ time.
In a separate case, the EC imposed an anti-dumping margin of 13.2-22.6% on Chinese HRC imports in October last year.
Laura Varriale, PLATTS