The European Commission has declared the import quota status as “critical” in hot-dip galvanized steel sheet coils, with 105,600 metric tons remaining available for importation in the final 12 days of provisional safeguard measures before a 25% tariff is applicable.
EC buyers, as of January 22, have exhausted around 95% of the 2.115 million mt allocated in July 2018 when the provisional measures first came into effect.
In the last three weeks since December 28, the rate of HDG importation has increased by around 26% over the period to 16,042 mt per day compared to 12,700 mt per day the previous month.
After quota balances drop below 10%, steel importers are obliged to deposit with customs authorities a 25% bank guarantee.
Safeguard quota balances in HRC, cold-rolled coil and plate will not likely reach critical status, with ample balances remaining in each product category.
HRC has a balance of 964,000 mt, CRC 419,000 mt and Plate 462,000 mt available for importation without tariff.
The EC ratified definitive safeguard measures that will take effect from no later than February 4 with country-specific and quarterly quota limits and remain in place for three years to June 2021.
— Len Griffin