ESTA, the association representing European tubemakers, has sent a formal request to the European Commission’s trade unit to cut safeguard quotas for the coming months. This is in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ESTA’s position is largely in line with Eurofer’s, although tubemakers have requested the EC reduce safeguard quotas in different forms depending on the product. In a letter to the Commission last week, ESTA requested reductions for the second half of 2020 from -10% for welded tube for the automotive industry to -50% for seamless tube for the oil and gas sector.
The association calculates that order intake at European tube suppliers is now down -45-50% year-on-year.
The association concludes that import pressure remains despite the fall in demand. “Despite the significant decrease of final demand, the imports in the EU did not reduce yet, as shown by the updated figures of safeguard quota exhaustion,” ESTA says in the letter seen by Kallanish.