Russia to become EU’s main HRC supplier

Russia is on track to once again becoming the largest supplier of hot rolled coil into the EU this year, according to data published by Eurofer.

Until 2016 the country was often the EU’s largest supplier of HRC, but then the imposition of anti-dumping duties on Russian steel forced volumes to drop significantly. So far in 2020, the country is on track to sell to Europe almost 2 million tonnes of HRC, according to annualised calculations made by Eurofer using data from the first five months of the year. If this volume is reached, Russia would also surpass its record annual tonnage of supply to the EU of above 1.8mt in 2016.

In January-May Russia supplied to the EU over 800,000t of HRC, up over 35% year-on-year, with over 230,000t sold in May alone, according to Eurofer data. Due to the existence of high duties on most Russian suppliers, it is understood most volumes were sold by Severstal, the company with the lowest AD duty, Kallanish notes.

Eurofer indicates Russia will be the only major HRC supplier to the EU in 2020 to see its volumes increase compared to 2019. The other top suppliers, Turkey and India, are likely to be surpassed by Russia and see their volumes drastically reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak and new changes in safeguard measures.

New EU safeguard quotas became effective since 1 July, and Russia was also the sole HRC supplier to see its dedicated quota increase enough to allow a recovery in sales compared with 2019. Turkey and India, on the other hand, suffered a cut in available quotas due to the decision to allocate them on a country specific and quarterly basis.