Eurofer lobbying for more restrictive steel safeguard

European steel association Eurofer is lobbying to make the European Commission’s steel safeguard more restrictive in several important areas.

The safeguard will again be reviewed towards the end of February and into March.

Eurofer wants the 30pc single country cap in the fourth quarter of the quota period to be reduced to 20pc for rebar and wire rod. This move, should it be implemented, will have consequences for availability of two of the tightest products.

An importer in the Balkans has already bought the 40,700t available from Turkey under the other countries quota, planning to clear customs on 1 April ahead of anyone else. This is an obstacle for other importers, while also opening up the risk Turkey’s 30pc will be oversubscribed and duties become payable.

Eurofer is also lobbying for the 3pc annual liberalisation to be further reduced. It had argued against the 5pc initially tabled and had it reduced to 3pc. It also wants the transfer mechanism for the unused quarterly quota for hot-rolled coil to be amended.

Given the already low 3pc growth, Eurofer could argue for the initial 5pc increase of February 2019, when the measures were implemented, to be altered.

By Colin Richardson