Severstal denies dumping to EU, supports global trade

The European Commission’s intention to review upwards the anti-dumping duty levied on Severstal’s hot rolled coil will most affect European product consumers, the steelmaker tells Kallanish.

The Commission announced the review on Monday (see separate article).

The Russian steelmaker “…has been supplying to the EU in accordance with international trade law and within the established quota,” it observes. “We will participate in the review and prove that Severstal does not enable dumping in its exports to the EU.” Tightening import restrictions will hurt European steel consumers, considering the current price rally and material shortage in the EU, it adds.

The existing 5.3% duty on Severstal is by far the lowest among the EU’s tariffs on CIS steelmakers. This enabled it to export to Europe 740,000 tonnes of steel products in the first half of 2020, 13% up on-year.

European steel association Eurofer petitioned the review on behalf of its members, stating that the measures in place are no longer sufficient to counteract Russian dumping. The Commission will take into consideration the whole of 2020 to establish the facts, it says.

Somewhat ironically, the move comes on the heels of Russian authorities mulling over the imposition of export duties. The country applied a higher minimal value barrier to the existing ferrous scrap duty, effectively trebling it to €45/tonne, in order to reduce scrap export volumes. The country’s anti-monopoly service then advised to apply similar duties on steel exports and create fair trading conditions within the WTO agreement. Scrap duties at higher levels will be valid for six months from 29 January.

Severstal chief executive Alexey Mordashov, a long-time propagandist of global free trade, told a Russia held Gaidar Forum, that autarchy – trade self-sufficiency – would be completely catastrophic for Russia’s economy. This draws around 50% of its budget from international trade. “Oil and gas, engineering and metallurgical industries will simply halt if we do not export,” he is quoted as saying.