EU governments back 3% increase to steel import quotas

EU governments on Wednesday approved a proposed increase in EU steel import quotas to 3% across all product categories, as suggested by the European Commission in its August review, down from the previously planned 5% increase, according to a news agency report citing diplomats.

The EU has not yet formally published the results of its review and EC representatives did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. Market sources confirmed the vote was due Wednesday, and the expectations were for no changes on the EC review document released in August.

EU governments approved the revised measures limiting any one country to a 30% share of quarterly imports by specific products, according to the news agency report and other sources.

The revised safeguard measure is expected to enter into force on October 1, according to sources.

Sources said four countries — Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Lithuania — voted against the proposal, which they said was too restrictive. Four other countries abstained, including Finland. The group asked the commission to closely monitor the markets to further ease the restrictions if needed.

— Annalisa Villa