Italy's steelmakers association welcomes EU definitive safeguard measures

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 16:22:00 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia
       

According to Federacciai, the association of Italian steel producers, the definitive safeguard measures imposed by the European Commission at the end of last week appear to be more than justified to protect European production from uncontrolled and unjustified increases in imports due both to the commercial flows deriving from US tariffs and the massive output overcapacity that exists in many producing countries, primarily in China.

Federacciai president Alessandro Banzato stated, "The structure of the definitive measures certainly improves some aspects compared to the preliminary measures, in particular with the inclusion of some categories of products, and with the new quotas, which are differently split between the major importing countries, and which are quarterly for the remaining ones." He continued by stating that, however, "The total increases in quotas remain to be reassessed, in order to make them consistent with the expected growth trend of steel consumption in Europe, which is expected to be less than one percent in 2019. Otherwise, the main objective of the measures will be undermined, namely, the maintenance of an open market where the interests of producers and consumers are balanced and do not cause any injury to the European industry". Banzato stated that, in his view, in addition to downsizing quota increases, it is also important "to monitor closely the distortions and increases in import flows to prevent possible circumvention of the existing safeguard or antidumping duties". According to the president of Federacciai, elements of concern are represented by imports from Turkey and Indonesia. The latter is among the countries that have been excluded from the safeguard as it is classified as a developing country.

In addition, according to Mr. Banzato it will be necessary to "monitor imports from China" as, for example, imports of Chinese galvanized coils in Italy saw a significant increase in 2018, even though Italy's end-user sectors, mainly automotive, have been suffering in the last months of 2018.

Federacciai said that it hopes that a work of recalculation on the actual import volumes will be started - this possibility is foreseen by the safeguard measures - and that the attention of each EU countries will be reinforced for the surveillance and verification of the compliance of steel imports with respect to national and EU legal requirements.


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