UK to extend China heavy plate anti-dumping duties

The UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has recommended extending the 65.1-73.7% ad valorem anti-dumping duties on China-origin heavy plate imports for another five years from 1 March 2022.

This follows the conclusion of TRA’s review initiated in January 2022, which used full-year 2021 as the period of investigation (see Kallanish passim).

The products affected come under HS codes 72 08 51 20 10, 72 08 51 91 10, 72 08 51 98 10, 72 08 52 91 10, 72 08 90 20 10, 72 08 90 80 20, 72 25 40 40 00, 72 25 40 60 10 and 72 25 99 00 45.

The TRA found it likely that dumping of heavy plate and injury to UK industry would recur if the anti-dumping amount were no longer applied. If the measure was revoked, Chinese suppliers would gain market share from UK producers and third countries, TRA says in its statement of essential facts.

The two UK heavy plate producers, Spartan UK Ltd and Liberty Steel Dalzell Ltd, took part in the investigation. British Steel was also involved, in its role as representative of 100% of the domestic upstream business in the heavy plate supply chain, and slab supplier to both plate producers. Construction and machinery account for over 70% of plate consumption in the UK.

The producers’ performance is subject to the uncertainty of the UK construction sector and the future trends of the slab market internationally. “If current trends continue, the financial position of the UK producers could worsen even with the measure in place,” TRA observes.

In reaction to TRA’s recommendation, UK Steel director general Gareth Stace say the move is “hugely significant for the UK industry to ensure it is shielded from unfair competition and is warmly welcome”.

“China accounts for more than 80% of global plate production and just a tiny fraction of that could meet the entirety of the UK’s demand requirements. Left unchecked and at a time when China’s domestic construction demand is weakening, this would inevitably lead to dumping by Chinese exporters, very quickly overwhelming the UK market and seriously damaging UK producers already battling with exorbitant energy and carbon costs and a challenging demand environment at home,” Stace concludes.

Adam Smith Poland