Steel safeguard to control HRC volumes

Tariff-rate quota volumes are unlikely to be significantly changed by the European Commission in its steel safeguard review, but hot-rolled coil supply will be limited through some form of control mechanism.

It is not yet clear what that mechanism will be – a reduction of the 30pc individual country cap seems to be the most likely change, as it would materially reduce availability. The quota could also transition to a country-by-country basis, which would provide volume to countries that can no longer access Europe because of anti-dumping duties.

Even certain traders and end-users have supported a reduction in the hot-rolled coil quota, and some suggest this could also aid mills in other product categories, such as cold-rolled coil and hot-dip galvanised. The quota could also become quarterly, with unused volume rolled over.

The commission is likely to publish its proposal for the review in the coming days, as it needs to be studied and voted upon by member states for implementation on 1 July. European steel association Eurofer has convened an assembly for its members on 24 June, where the safeguard is likely to be on the agenda.

By Colin Richardson