The Italian distributor, service centre and traders’ association, Assofermet, is hopeful for the implementation of some changes to the EU’s permanent safeguard measures for steel. Changes can be made to the measures during the first revision that the European Commission has programmed during the second quarter of 2019, Kallanish notes.
In a special event dedicated to the safeguard measures held this week in Milan, Assofermet president Riccardo Benso confirmed that the association is preparing its findings for the commission. “I am hopeful that something will be done during the revision. Specifically, I believe automotive HDG quotas will be reviewed upward because the current allocations for China and Korea, for example, are less than half the market [… volumes] seen last year,” he said.
Three set of quotas have already been completed. These are rebar and wire rod originating from Turkey for the period February-June and automotive HDG from general sources for the period February-March (see separate article).
Tommaso Sandrini, head of the steel group of Assofermet, also confirmed the anomalous situation for HDG automotive products. “Specific historical data for automotive HDG are not public, therefore the calculation is difficult. Nevertheless, the current quotas, even after the increase made between the first proposal and the approved version of safeguards, remain well below demand,” he explained.
“Personally, I believe the issue with the permanent safeguard system is the decision to allocate country-specific quotas. We can live with quotas, even calculated quarterly, but the decision to divide them into countries has no explanation because historically the market changes its sources rapidly due to different market dynamics. If we look at HRC, for example, where the Commission has decided to avoid the specific country-quotas, the problems do not exist and are very unlikely to materialise in the next two and half years,” Sandrini commented.