EU HRC quota now quarterly, country-by-country

The European Union has transitioned its hot-rolled coil quota to a country-by-country and quarterly basis, it said in a notification to the World Trade Organization obtained by Argus Media.

The overall HRC quota volume is not radically reduced by the move, but some integral exporters – including Turkey – will take a hit.

Turkey can ship 1.36 mn t duty-free into the European Union between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021; 344,890t in the first quarter (July-September), 344,890t in the second quarter, 337,393t in the third quarter, and 341,141t in the last quarter.

In July 2017-June 2018, Turkey sold 2.1mn t into the EU, which increased to 3.31mn int July 2018-June 2019, both substantially above its new quota level. Between July 2019 and March this year, it sold 1.47mn t into the EU – also more than its new quota.

Indian HRC volume will also be reduced. It can sell 667,978t into the July 2020-June 2021 period; 168,367t each over the first quarter and second quarter, 164,707t in the third quarter, and 166,537 in the final April-June 2021 period. In July 2017-June 2018, India sold 967,596t into the EU, and 793,235t in July 2018-June 2019; both above its new quota level.

The HRC other countries quota has also fallen substantially, with every quarter’s volume now around 1mn t or slightly below, compared to every quarter being above 2mn t in the current year of the safeguard, which ends this June. Those regions that exhaust their own volumes can still compete for the residual quota in the final quarter of the period, but they can be no more than 30pc of the import market.

The Commission also intends to introduce a 30pc cap for the 4b hot-dip galvanised residual quota, which had been solely taken up by China in the first year.

Residual quotas will be amended somewhat for certain products. For rebar, access to the residual quotas in the fourth quarter will be limited to volumes exceeding the average quota used by smaller supplying countries during the four quarters; this will reduce the amount of material Turkey can sell into the EU.

By Colin Richardson