EU member states approve safeguard review proposal

EU member states have approved the steel safeguard quota revision proposal presented by the European Commission at the end of May to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan confirmed in a tweet that the proposal was approved. He stated that “…the proposal will result in substantive benefits to industry in this difficult period. It reflects the Commission’s commitment to effectively defend EU industry from trade diversion effects.” The proposal is compliant with WTO rules, he added.

The document presented at the end of May raised many concerns among steelmakers as well as European trade unions. A number of official statements from Eurofer and other associations were issued to request the European Commission to further consider their proposal. The biggest changes proposed were the calculation of all country-specific quotas on a quarterly basis as well as changes to the way residual quotas can be used.

Hot rolled coil quotas are also set to be strongly impacted as they will be moved from global to country-specific.

Sources confirmed the approved draft by member states is not substantially different from the one seen previously (see Kallanish passim).

The new changes to the safeguard measures should be implemented from the beginning of July, when new quotas will become available for the market. The official publishing of the changes should be done in the next days.