EU second-quarter safeguard quota usage confirms import slowdown

EU imports of steel products subject to safeguard measures slowed in the first days of the second quarter, according to official EU data compiled by UK Steel.

During the first eight days of April, as new safeguard quotas became available for the quarter, EU customs authorities cleared some 2.4 million tonnes of steel. This was over 300,000t below the level cleared during the first days of January 2022 and 200,000t less than in early October 2021.

The slowdown in imports was widely anticipated, mainly due to the ban on imports from Russia and Belarus, as well as the limited possibilities for Ukrainian suppliers to ship material since the country was invaded by Russia, Kallanish notes.

The latest available import data from Eurofer are for January 2022. That month, overall EU imports of carbon and stainless steel finished products surpassed 3.5mt. In comparison, imports of all products in October 2021 reached a record level of over 4.7mt.

During the first days of April, Turkey used up a large part of its available second-quarter quotas for long products, including rebar, wire rod, sections and angles.

For flat products, China exhausted available quotas for electrical steel as well as metallic coated in category 4b. Quotas for organic coated sheet from India for the entire quarter were also exhausted during the first days of April.

Emanuele Norsa Italy