Safeguard review creates new HDG import challenges: conference

Importers of hot-dip galvanized coil into Europe are set to face a series of new challenges from the beginning of July, as the new rules related to safeguard measures come into force.

Participants of this week’s Kallanish Europe Steel Markets 2022 conference in Milan voiced their concerns over the inclusion of HDG imports from Vietnam in the safeguard system.

According to Eurofer data, Vietnam supplied last year into Europe over 900,000 tonnes of hot-dip galvanised material, most of which was coil. These were exempted from safeguard measures, but from July 2022 they will be included in the global 4a sub-category for safeguard measures.

Before 2017, imports of Vietnamese hot-dipped galvanised materials into Europe were virtually zero. 2018 saw a record volume of slightly below 250,000t, according to Eurofer.

“We knew Vietnam was going to be included in the safeguard system, but the decision to not change the general tariff rate quota allocation for the 4a sub-group will have a big impact on the market. Vietnam imports will be competing with Turkish volumes to use the available quotas. During the last quarters, the general quotas for this product were already being fully used during the very first days,” commented Paolo Sangoi, head of Assofermet Acciai.

Gamma Trade’s Alessandro Fossati confirmed Sangoi’s view and added that the biggest problem will be noticed by Italian buyers of HDG.

Russian-origin imports are now banned as part of the Ukraine war-related sanctions against the country, while Turkish HDG imports are set to be levied with the newly-announced definitive anti-dumping duties of 8-11%, for all suppliers excluding Tatmetal (2.4%).

Emanuele Norsa Italy