EUROFER welcomes final measures but questions effectiveness

Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:08:59 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul
       

Axel Eggert, general director of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), has commented on the EU member states’ approval of the European Commission’s final safeguard measures on steel imports, stating that, with imports surging by 12 percent in 2018, such measures are essential though not necessarily ideal.

Mr. Eggert stated that, for every three tonnes of steel blocked by the US tariffs, two tonnes were shipped to the EU countries last year. He added that the EC’s final measures may actually undermine their intended function if the EC does not regulary check steel demand in the EU and adjust the current quota accordingly. 

Regarding the planned five percent increase in the size of the quota in July 2019 and the planned further five percent rise in 2020, the EUROFER general director stated, “This means that the rise in the quota may be multiple times larger than the increase in the size of the market, leaving EU producers to fight over a shrinking market share. Imports already account for around a quarter of the market, up from less than a fifth historically.” Eggert estimated a one percent increase in EU demand for steel in 2019.

In EUROFER’s statement, the issue of exclusion from the final measures of some developing countries due to their share of imports being below three percent is also raised. EUROFER underlines that Indonesia’s share in EU imports, for instance, rose to 9.5 percent in 2018. Accordingly, the exemption of countries like Indonesia from the final measures should be reconsidered in the upcoming revisions.


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