EU reduces increase in steel import quotas

Thursday, 15 August 2019 15:15:03 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

The European Commission (EC) has announced that it has reduced the planned increase in the steel import quota rate from five percent to three percent in all product categories, as result of the review of the safeguard measures imposed on February 2. The EC indicated that steel imports in 2018 reached a record volume of 33.4 million mt, 5 million mt higher than the average for the 2015-2017 period and 3 million mt higher than for 2017 alone, which were the reference periods used for safeguard measures.

“This less-pronounced liberalization means that that the total quotas available during the third period will be limited to 31.6 million mt, i.e. 1.5 million mt below the distorting 2018 record,” said the EC statement.

For the hot rolled flat products category, the Commission has also decided to establish a limitation of 30 percent to the share of the global quota that any single exporting country can reach per quarter during the remaining duration of the measures. The hot rolled product quota volume for the period between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 will be reduced from 8.64 million mt to 8.47 million mt. The Commission also said that Turkey, India and Serbia have been able to replace the import shares lost by those countries that reduced their level of imports following the imposition of the antidumping and countervailing measures, while Russia, despite being subjected to antidumping measures, has recovered a substantial part of its historical trading volume. The 30 percent cap is expected to most affect Turkey, the country which has benefitted from the global quota.

For metallic coated sheet, the Commission will readjust the product scope of 4a section to include products under 4b section as well, so as to allow the import of non-auto grade products using quota volumes under 4a section. Meanwhile, as India does not export auto grade steel, it will be granted a single country-specific quota under 4a section.

These new adjustments will come into force on October 1, 2019.

A source cited “pressure from local producers” as the reason to reduce the planned increase in the quota, adding that “the EU needs to avoid imports more now as production is decreasing”.

As SteelOrbis previously reported, in July this year the European Steel Association (EUROFER) objected to an automatic five percent increase in steel import quotas, amid an expected decrease in EU steel demand in 2019.

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