EU safeguard system to include Indonesian HR/CR stainless

Indonesian hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless sheet and strip will be included in the European safeguard system from the beginning of October, Kallanish learns from the latest approved proposal for amendments to the safeguard measures.

During recent months, Indonesian stainless imports have been at the centre of many discussions in the steel sector. The country was originally included in the list of the developing countries of the WTO, being therefore exempted from the impact of the safeguard system.

Nevertheless, the volumes of stainless HR and CR steel imported from Indonesia jumped significantly during the first half of this year. This has prompted Eurofer and many other market participants to request a revision of the measures.

According to Eurofer data, Indonesia exported over 70,000 tonnes of HR stainless sheets and strip into the EU over the January-June 2019 period. This was almost double what it exported in the whole of 2018 and it became the second largest supplier after China. During the same period CR stainless sheet imports from the country surpassed 40,000t, against the volume of 35,000t exported during the entire 2018.

Earlier this summer Marcegaglia explained in an official letter to the European Commission that stopping Indonesian imports of stainless steel would significantly harm the local processing sector. The surge in these imports was offsetting the reduction in imports from China and the USA, as well as the lower availability of domestic European supplies.

Following the approval of the amendments, Indonesian imports will need to be registered using the quotas assigned for ‘other countries’ in the safeguard system. These amount to only 25,000t for HR and 128,000t for CR in the July 2019 to June 2020 period.