EU could impose duties on Turkish HRC in December

EU could impose duties on Turkish HRC in December

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Provisional duties on Turkish hot-rolled coil (HRC) could be implemented by 15 December, the European Commission said when initiating its anti-dumping case.

In an indicative timeframe, the commission said verification visits will be conducted between 30 July and 14 September, with a pre-disclosure made on 23 November. Definitive measures could be enacted by 12 June 2021.

Turkey has previously been named in a European dumping case, but was later removed. Politics, as well as trade, have played an important role in previous discussions on steel.

The commission’s investigation of dumping and injury will cover 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019, and the examination of trends relevant for the assessment of injury will run from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019.

Turkey had a net trade surplus of 965,198t with the EU last year. But the vast majority of this was amassed in the first quarter, when Turkish imports booked over the fourth quarter of 2018 cleared customs. The US increased the Section 232 duty on Turkish steel imports to 50pc in August 2018, just as the country’s currency was depreciating rapidly. This saw its mills seek additional export outlets, and Europe was the most logical choice given its proximity and existing relationship. Turkey accounted for over 50pc of the European HRC import market in January 2019, shipping almost 500,000t into the region.

But besides the slew of arrivals in the first quarter, Turkish material had little impact on the rapid rundown in European domestic HRC pricing last year. Argus‘ benchmark northwest European index fell from €519.50/t ex-works at the start of the year to €439.25/t by the end, after reaching a nadir of €412.25/t on 18 November.

Domestic mills fought for volume as the overstocked supply chain reacted to the automotive slowdown, and European sellers competed to move higher-gauge coils into the commodity grade sector. Turkey had a 251,279t net trade surplus with the EU for HRC in April-December 2019, and its volumes sold into the region were down year on year over June, July, August, October, November and December. European mills offered aggressively into Turkey, as well as north Africa, over the second half of the year as they looked to fill sparse order books.

Argus‘ domestic Italian index averaged €444.44/t ex-works, below the average of the cif Italy assessment at €450.53, between 7 February 2019 and the end of last year. Imported tonnage typically has to be around €20/t below domestic material, at least, to be attractive, although some larger buyers will always procure third-country supply to maintain relationships with a wide array of supply-side sources.

Many other bulk commodity grade exporters, such as Brazil, China, Russia, Ukraine and Iran, already have anti-dumping duties for HRC sold into Europe

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