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EU flat steel trade: can anti-dumping duties stop a surge of imports?

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Report summary

Against a backdrop of falling global prices and rising European demand producers of flat steels in the EU have struggled to increase their share of the market. Over the last two years imports have increased sharply but domestic production has failed to match that growth. This has resulted in EU steelmakers who claim they cannot compete with subsidised foreign steel lodging complaints to the European Commission. The results of EU anti dumping (AD) investigations have mostly gone in favour of the steelmakers protectionism is on the rise in the EU. But despite the imposition of AD duties there has been little change to total trade volumes rather a disruption of trade flows. AD measures have been successful in either removing or raising the cost of the cheapest of imports entering the EU. Although this has enabled domestic producers to expand production it has increased end user costs.

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  • AD duties forced Chinese and Russian CR coil from the market but the gap has been partially vacated by material from other sources
  • In the case of HR coil, Chinese imports have been supplanted by material from Brazil, Turkey and India
  • Production growth will not keep pace with demand growth
  • Net imports of HDG increased last year and we expect them to remain over 0.5 Mtpy

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