EC decides against provisional AD duties on HRC: sources

The European Commission has decided not to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of hot rolled coil from Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine, according to two separate steel trade sources with knowledge of the case.

The Commission opened the investigation against these five countries on 7 July last year following a complaint by Eurofer. It has until 7 April to make a decision on provisional duties, but Platts was told it has decided not to do so. As consequence, EU importers will avoid paying tariffs on the HRC for the time being.

The grounds for the non-imposition of provisional duties are not clear. For some countries the tonnage involved might be too small. The increase in European market prices for coils might be a reason for judging an absence of dumping. EC trade officials had not responded to Platts requests for comment by deadline Friday.

Brussels now has until 6 October to decide whether to impose definitive AD duties on the HRC imports. “Probably some aggressive traders will close some deals in these days but they have a small window. We are noticing that the EC is shortening its investigation time so the decision could be taken even before”, a source from a large south European stockholder commented to Platts, underscoring that he will not take the chance to buy materials also because his stocks are medium-high as are most importers’.

A German stockholder confirmed to Platts that it had heard no duties would be imposed, and said that reactions on the market and what it would mean for import levels is yet to be seen. Imports from Russia and Brazil had been subject to registration since January this year, a move which would have enabled duties to be imposed retroactively.

The Commission is also investigating HRC from China, and imposed provisional duties of up to 22.6% last October. A final decision in this case is due by 7 April.

Annalisa Villa and Laura Varriale, PLATTS