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Kallanish Kallanish

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July, 11th 2020

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MAY 28
12:27

EU HRC imports remain competitive, Russia under scrutiny

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Hot rolled coil import prices in Europe are yet to recover firmly despite earlier expectations, Kallanish learns from sources. Meanwhile, Russian suppliers are significantly increasing their market presence and attracting closer scrutiny from EU authorities.

In recent days traders confirmed that Indian HRC remains at some €385-390/tonne ($424-430) cfr Europe, with similar levels reported for Japanese suppliers. Turkish mills have somewhat raised their asking levels, but offers are still reported at €395-400/t cfr.

“Despite the recovery of prices globally, the low cost of freight as well as the positive exchange rate is keeping import offers in Europe stable,” a trader comments.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter Russian suppliers significantly increased their market share of HRC imported into the EU, despite the existing anti-dumping duties on their sales. According to Eurofer data, Russia imported on average almost 160,000 tonnes/month of HRC into Europe, returning to a monthly level not seen since 2016, prior to the imposition of AD duties. Turkey remains the largest supplier of HRC into Europe, but it is now again closely followed by Russia.

Amid the recovery of Russian supply into Europe, rumours in the market suggest European steelmakers’ association Eurofer has asked the European Commission to open a review of AD duties on HRC from Severstal. This could lead to a potential increase in tariff.

Eurofer declined to comment on speculation, but sources in the market confirm the Russian supplier sold a sizeable HRC tonnage to Europe and accepted to pay the existing duty of €17.6/t on its sales.

Severstal has the lowest level of AD duty among Russian steelmakers, with other suppliers being subject to duties of above €50/t.

The Russian company comments: “In the case such a review is initiated, Severstal will be ready to participate. If the said review is conducted fully in accordance with EU legislation and WTO norms, and not in the regime of panic propagated by Eurofer, and 'pandemic' protectionism, the company will be able to prove that it does not use unfair trade practices and does not dump in the EU market.”