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April sees more trade cases against China steel products

Many countries have stepped up their vigilance of Chinese steel imports of late, and so far in April, countries including Malaysia, Egypt, India and Mexico have all launched AD or safeguard probes on exports of China's finished steel, affecting both long and flat, carbon or stainless, Mysteel Global noted.

Most recently, on April 9 Indonesia announced it was extending the 11.93% AD duty on imports of H and I sections originating from China for a period of five years starting April 24.

“The anti-dumping cases have been too frequent in recent days,” observed an industry watcher based in Shanghai. “This may be because Chinese steel exports increased quickly during first quarter,” he said on April 9, adding that last year, the number of trade cases launched against Chinese steel products actually halved from 2017.

Over January-February, Chinese steel exports jumped by nearly 13% on year to 9.48 million tonnes, as Mysteel Global reported.

Though these investigations were only just initiated and no definite protectionist measures have been introduced as yet, business of some Chinese exporters has already been affected, Mysteel Global understands.

“We used to export a lot to Malaysia. But currently we’ve decided to stop concluding any deals with buyers there, especially for orders to be shipped in May. We’re telling customers to watch the trend for a while,” a Beijing-based exporter of cold-rolled coils told Mysteel on Friday.

On March 29, Malaysia initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of cold-rolled coils originating or being exported from Vietnam, China, Japan and South Korea. The involved products are under HS codes 7209 and 7225, an announcement from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) showed on April 8.

The rise in Chinese steel exports to Southeast Asia in recent months may be among the reasons why these countries are growing protective of their markets against Chinese steel products, market sources indicated.

During last year, Chinese steel exports to the ASEAN-6 countries (Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore) picked up by a slight 2.3% year on year to 21.4 million tonnes. This was in marked contrast to the year-on-year slowdown of 8.1% in China’s total steel exports globally.

China’s steel exports to these ASEAN countries started to surge in late 2018 and increased significantly in January, jumping by 37.4% on year to 1.9 million tonnes in the first month of this year, Mysteel Global noted.

“When the global steel prices decline, Chinese steel products will remain the most competitive,” Wu Yong, chief editor of China Metallurgical News said, suggesting this as the reason why protectionism against Chinese steel products by other countries is increasing.

Written by Olivia Zhang, zhangwd@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com


Initiator

Date of initiation/decision

Type

Products

Country/region of Origin

HS Code

Investigation period

Malaysia

Mar 29

AD probe

CRC of iron or non-alloy steel, width>1,300 mm 

China, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea

7209, 7225

 

Egypt

Apr 2

Safeguard probe

Semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel, and steel rebar (bars, rods and coils) for construction purposes

/

7207, 7213, 7214

 

India

Apr 2

AD probe

Aluminium and zinc coated flat products

China, Vietnam, South Korea

72106100, 72125090, 72259900, 72269990

Oct 1 2017-Sept 30 2018

Mexico

Apr 5

AD probe

CR flat stainless steel with a width≥600mm and a thickness of 0.3-1.0mm, and of width<600mm and thickness between 0.3-4.0mm

China and Taiwan

72193401, 72193501, 72202002,

98020001,

98020002,

98020003,

98020007,

98020010,

98020013,

98020019

Oct 2017-Sept 2018

Indonesia

Apr 9

Decision on second sunset review AD probe

I and H sections

China

72163311, 72163319, 72163210, 72163290

 

Canada

Apr 9

Definitive safeguard measures

Heavy steel plate, stainless steel wire (other than goods originating in Korea, Panama, Peru, Colombia and Honduras)

/

7208

Jan 1 2015-Jun 30 2018

Source: related government websites