ArcelorMittal says EU starting anti-dumping probe on Turkish HRC

ArcelorMittal said Thursday that the EU opened a new antidumping investigation into imports of hot-rolled steel coils from Turkey in April.

A European Commission spokesperson however said there had been no official announcement on such an investigation.

“All ongoing cases are listed in our database and announced in the Official Journal. I do not have any information about such case having been initiated”, the EC spokeswoman said.

European steel industry federation Eurofer limited itself to saying: “We constantly monitor trade flows to and from the EU to assess whether trade is being conducted under fair conditions.”

When re-contacted by S&P Global Platts, ArcelorMittal said it had nothing further to add on this matter.

ArcelorMittal said in a question and answer document released with its first-quarter earnings that “…given the significant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with reduced production and steel demand, significant capacities being idled in the EU, Eurofer is seeking an immediate and significant reduction of current tariff-free quota volumes. In April 2020, a new AD investigation has been opened versus HRC from Turkey.”

Aditya Mittal, the president and CFO of ArcelorMittal and CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe reiterated this information during a call with analysts.

Ugur Dalbeler, CEO of Turkish steelmaker Colakoglu, one of the main exporters to the EU, told S&P Global Platts Thursday that a probe could be opened only via an official decision on the part of the EC. “We are not currently at that point,” he said.

In mid-April, Dalbeler told Platts that Eurofer made an application to the EC on March 31, requesting an antidumping and subsidy investigation into HRC imports from Turkey.

The Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD) Wednesday urged the government to impose similar retaliatory duties against EU steel, based on the reciprocity principle, saying Eurofer’s recent demand to reduce EU quotas by 75% due to the coronavirus pandemic had deepened Turkish producers’ concerns. TCUD pointed to a 50% year-on-year rise in steel imports by Turkey in Q1 and a 47% drop in Turkish steel exports to the EU.

After becoming a net HRC exporter in 2018 due to strong EU demand, especially from Southern Europe, Turkey flipped to being a net HRC importer in 2019 as trade barriers severely restricted Turkish HRC exports, especially to the EU.

According to the latest Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data, Turkish mills’ Q1 HRC exports to the EU fell 47% on the year to 525,000 mt.

— Annalisa Villa, Cenk Can