BIG VARIATIONS IN STEEL PRICES WILL DRAW ASIAN EXPORTS TO NORTH AMERICA AND EU

MEPS STEEL NEWS

Trade lawyers from Washington to Brussels must be rubbing their hands in anticipation. Legal actions against so-called “unfairly traded� imports look like being a big growth area in the steel industry for the next few months.

US producers of wire rods this month fired the first round. They filed unfair trade cases against imports from China, Turkey and Germany, asking their government to impose dumping margins as high as 330 percent. Until recently, the steel companies’ considerable profits had prevented them filing such claims, as they would be unable to argue that they had suffered injury – one of the criteria needed to prove dumping under WTO rules. But now, with mill profits falling, their lawyers will argue that the declines have been caused by “dumped� or “subsidised� imports.

Steel makers in Europe might be the next to consider sanctions. They are looking to gather evidence against wire rod imports particularly from Brazil, as well as flat product imports from other countries. Dumping complaints may follow. Elsewhere, Indian steel companies are contemplating legal action against what they see as unfair imports.

Wide disparities in steel prices in different parts of the world are helping to fuel the dumping claims. Prices in North America are a lot higher than the rest of the world, and values in Europe are above those in Asia.

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