EU trade cases set to slow in 2018

2018 is set to be quieter year for trade cases related to the import of steel products into the European Union. The authorities have concluded most of their recent investigations and have addressed the majority of the issues raised by local producers, Kallanish notes. Some new investigations nevertheless may yet be under consideration.

The main decision set to be taken by 10 February 2018 relates to the imports of HDG from China. The European Commission imposed provisional anti-dumping duties of 17.2-28.5% last summer (see Kallanish 11 August 2017), but definitive measures are still set to be confirmed. The duties apply to HDG from China, excluding the qualities specifically intended for the automotive sector.

Another interesting on-going investigation is that against the import of ferrochrome from China, Russia and Turkey. The anti-dumping investigation was begun in June 2017 following a complaint from trade association Euroalliages and a decision on provisional measures is expected by the end of March 2018. Low carbon ferrochrome is used mainly in stainless steel production.

Excluding the above ongoing investigations, all other open cases are related to expiry reviews of existing measures on a number of seamless pipes products from China, Ukraine and Russia.

In 2017 the main trade defence initiative from the European Commission has been the imposition of duties on imports of HRC from Ukraine, Russia, Brazil and Iran. The decision was significant in that it both reduced the possible sources for coils buyers in Europe, and introduced a different anti-dumping penalty, with a fixed value rather than a percentage of the price.

2018 is likely to be relatively calm in terms of trade cases in Europe. Industry sources note however that the increasing volumes of coils imported from India could well trigger a new investigation by the authorities. In addition, the issue of the possible circumvention of duties by countries such as Vietnam, which buy HRC from China and then export derived CRC and HDG, could also be investigated further.