Frank Bergren at IREPAS: Section 232 creates shockwave on import side

Speaking at the SteelOrbis 2017 Fall Conference & 77th IREPAS Meeting held in Athens on September 24-26, , managing director at Metal Partners International, said that the Section 232 investigation created a shockwave, especially on the import side resulting in price increases, adding that there is still no clarity regarding the investigation. He said that the administration wants to find a way to implement the Section 232 but for now it is focusing on tax reform, going on to say that nothing is certain other than the fact that a report should be presented to President Trump in mid-January and then he is going to have 90 days to decide on an action plan.

Mr. Bergren also commented on the antidumping (AD) duty investigation which resulted in AD duties against rebar imports from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey. He said that Japan was removed from the US market because of the extremely high AD rates, thereby affecting the western part of the US where the limited number of domestic mills and limited volumes of imports resulted in the highest transaction prices. On the other hand, with four domestic mills and the highest import flow, Texas has the lowest transaction prices.

In the first half of 2017, Turkish rebar supply to the US increased by 7.5 percent, while the Japanese rebar supply declined by 85.9 percent, both year on year. In July this year, rebar imports to the US decreased to 73,894 mt, from 301,011 mt in July 2016. Bergren said that US domestic mills do not have the ability to supply the remaining 200,000 mt.

According to Mr. Bergren, rebar consumption in the US is expected to grow by 2.6 percent in 2017 and by 2.8 percent in 2018, signaling a very positive outlook on the horizon for the US. He added that it is important that the domestic mills, namely CMC, SID and Nucor, finally announced capital expenditure investments to increase their capacities.

*This was published on SteelOrbis website on September 25, 2017.

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