UK’s TRA proposes keeping antidumping measure on heavy plate steel from China

The UK government’s Trade Remedies Authority has proposed that the UK keep the antidumping measure on heavy plate steel from China until March 1, 2027, according to interim findings in a transition review published Feb. 7.

The UK imports around 100 mt/year of heavy plate from China and the TRA was investigating whether duties were still needed to counter dumping of these imports at prices below what they would be sold for in China.

It provisionally found that if the antidumping duties were removed, dumping and injury to UK producers would likely recur, while maintaining the measures would benefit UK producers and their suppliers without materially harming any other UK interests.

“Our provisional finding is that the UK should retain existing tariffs protecting domestic producers of heavy plate steel, concentrated in Motherwell and Gateshead, from unfair Chinese imports,” TRA CEO Oliver Griffiths said.

He said the economic analysis had also given weight to the projected negative impacts on the upstream steel supplier if the measures were revoked.

The measure covers certain flat products of non-alloy or alloy steel often used in making construction, mining and logging equipment, in oil and gas pipelines, for shipbuilding, and in construction of bridges and buildings.

The findings are provisional, with the TRA calling for affected businesses to comment via its online case platform before March 4.

It will then review any further evidence and submit its final recommendation to the Secretary of State for International Trade, who will make a final decision on retaining the measure.

In addition, the TRA said it had also launched a transition review into antidumping measures on imports of corrosion resistant steels from China.

This measure was inherited from the EU and the TRA will review it to establish whether it is still suitable for the UK’s needs and required to protect the UK industry.

The products under review include flat rolled, iron/alloy/non alloy steel, plated or coated by hot dip galvanization with zinc and/or aluminum and/or magnesium, which made steel rustproof.

Corrosion resistant steel is mainly used in the construction and automotive industries.

The TRA said coated steel, which includes corrosion resistant steels, was “seen as a prospective growth area for the UK steel industry — representing future revenue opportunity worth nearly GBP1 billion [$1.2 billion] annually by 2030.”

The investigation will look at calendar year 2022, while the injury period was set as 2019-2022.

Affected businesses can registering their interest on the TRA’s online case platform by Feb. 15.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the monthly European plate import price at Eur740/mt ($791.69/mt) CIF South European ports Jan. 10, unchanged month on month.

— Jacqueline Holman