European HDG imports heat up on safeguards, anti-dumping

The European hot-dip galvanized coil import market is heating up. Most import opportunities are now closed for the first quarter due to exhausted safeguard quotas, while the upcoming anti-dumping decision could impact Q2.

During the first days of January, European importers of HDG exhausted most safeguard tariff-free quotas for HDG in the 4a sub-group (not for automotive). Indian quotas were fully used, as were “other countries” quotas of over 400,000 tonnes.

The “other countries” 4a quotas were filled mainly with Russian and Turkish material. The countries are being investigated for potential anti-dumping measures by the European Commission and sources in Turkey believe provisional measures could be imposed by end-March at as high as 20%, meaning new imports will become virtually impossible.

“The HDG import market in Europe is a mess and from Q3 we should also see some volumes arrive from Vietnam that will use available quotas,” a trader tells Kallanish. “European mills clearly have the upper hand for the coming months thanks to the total use of safeguard quotas in Q1 and upcoming AD measures.”

Earlier this week, ArcelorMittal started announcing a price increase of €30-60/tonne on its HDG – and cold rolled coil – across Europe (see Kallanish passim). It is understood the new reference offer level for Germany and northern Europe for HDG would be €1,160/t ex-works base. The Kallanish HDG index for northern Europe is yet to move following the announcement, but sentiment is picking up in terms of domestic prices.

In addition to HDG 4a quotas, Chinese HDG 4b quotas have also been fully used during the very first days of January, putting further pressure on the market for auto sheet.

Emanuele Norsa Italy