End users voice their opposition to safeguard extension

A coalition of downstream steel users has issued a strong statement against the extension of EU safeguard measures beyond June.

In a letter seen by Kallanish, the steel users note that since the second half of 2020, the entire manufacturing sector in Europe has been hit by surging steel prices and longer delivery times. This is, they say, due to insufficient domestic supply of steel products.

“Due to the safeguard measures currently in place, reduced competition from third countries means that import alternatives aimed at easing cost and lead-time pressures on European manufacturers have been limited,” the letter notes.

It concludes that extending safeguard measures beyond June would add to the uncertainty and adverse market conditions that steel users are already facing at present.

The letter was signed by associations grouping, among others, European carmakers, home appliances producers, construction equipment manufacturers, the agricultural machinery association and wind energy technology suppliers.

A heated debate over the extension of the safeguard system has taken place since the end of last year. The European Commission officially opened a review process last week, but the outcome of it remains uncertain. Steelmakers are supporting the extension of the measures, but distributors, traders and users are increasingly voicing their opposition.

A decision is expected by June.

Emanuele Norsa Italy