EU steel end users unite against safeguard measures

Six associations representing the majority of European steel users have join forces to protest against the permanent safeguard measures approved last week by the European Commission (EC) and European Union (EU) member states.

There have been negative comments made by individual associations since the first proposal of the permanent measures was made public. This move confirms that EU end-users are closely monitoring both the current situation and future developments.

“The EC has failed to take into account the interest of downstream steel users when it made the proposal to apply definitive measures,” the group says in a joint statement monitored by Kallanish.

Signatories to the statement include the carmakers association (ACEA), the home appliance association (APPLIA), the automotive suppliers’ association (CLEPA), the metals packaging association, the engineering industries association (ORGALIME) and the wind energy sector (WindEurope). Together these association represent companies employing around 20 million people in Europe.

“With US import data showing a highly limited decrease in imports of roughly -10% for 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, the potential for EU producers to suffer serious injury is minimal. This decrease in US imports amounts to 3 million tonnes of steel, while the EU market is approximately 165 million tonnes in total,” the grouping of associations adds. “As companies that manufacture in Europe, steel users fear that any safeguard measures will lead to increased prices and even tighter capacity in the European steel market.”

Market observers note that the unification of end-user groups is a strong indication that some changes to the measures could be instigated should problems arise following implementation at the beginning of February.