Further HRC dumping duties likely for EU

A “fourth wave” of anti-dumping measures on hot-rolled coil (HRC) is possible, according to law firm Van Bael & Bellis partner Yuriy Rudyuk.

The latest round of sanctions and import bans on Russian steel products has resulted in significant increases in imports of HRC from other countries, Rudyuk told the EUROMETAL International Steel Trade Day in Antwerp.

HRC imports from Japan have exploded of late, reaching 739,255t over January-August, up from 591,355t over the whole of 2021, and just 83,292t in 2020. Japan is traditionally not a large seller of HRC into the EU. In August, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan together accounted for 40pc of EU HRC imports.

Imports from traditional suppliers, such as India and Korea, have also increased, Rudyuk noted. On the sidelines of the conference, he told Argus Brazil will be under scrutiny given its increase in volumes. Despite existing duties, EU imports of Brazilian HRC hit 357,368t over January-August, compared with 121,882t in 2021, and 174,089 in 2020. Its volumes this year look set to surpass the 366,679t reached in 2017, when the European Commission imposed anti-dumping duties of €53.40-63.00/t.

European steelmakers association Eurofer has been lobbying for emergency measures on imports in light of the cost disadvantages faced by its members; EU mills have much higher energy costs than their overseas competitors, and also pay carbon levies not faced by others.

“The war in Ukraine and the subsequent necessary EU sanctions against Russia have thrown the EU into an exceptional crisis which requires exceptional and immediate measures by EU policymakers to prevent the destruction of Europe’s industrial base, going beyond the EU’s usual ‘rule book’, including swift trade emergency measures,” Eurofer director-general Axel Eggert said.

Rudyuk expects further dumping measures to be more likely than emergency measures, given there is already a safeguard in place.

By Colin Richardson and Lizzy Lancaster