Zacks: U.S. DOC Launches Probe into Hot-Rolled Steel Imports

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The U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) has launched an investigation into the alleged illegal dumping of certain hot-rolled steel flat products by seven countries into the American market. Hot-rolled steel is used in appliances, automotive products, heavy machinery, machine parts, commercial construction and transportation equipment.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) has launched an investigation into the alleged illegal dumping of certain hot-rolled steel flat products by seven countries into the American market. Hot-rolled steel is used in appliances, automotive products, heavy machinery, machine parts, commercial construction and transportation equipment. - See more at: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/188941/us-doc-launches-probe-into-hotrolled-steel-imports#sthash.Wjksp13Z.dpuf

[Reposted from Zacks Investment Research  |  September 3, 2015]

The DOC said that it has started anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty probes into imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, South Korea and Turkey and anti-dumping duty investigations into imports of these products from Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK.

The nation’s biggest steel producers, last month, filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions with the DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) against these seven countries. The petitions, which were filed by six U.S. steel makers including Nucor (NUE - Analyst Report), U.S. Steel (X - Analyst Report), AK Steel (AKS - Analyst Report), Steel Dynamics (STLD - Snapshot Report) and ArcelorMittal USA – a part of ArcelorMittal (MT - Analyst Report) – charge that a torrent of significantly subsidized imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from these nations are causing significant injury to the U.S. steel industry.

The petitions, which were submitted in response to surging volumes of cheap imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from the seven alleged countries since 2012, also charge that producers in Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey benefit from a number of countervailable subsidies provided by their respective governments. The petitions identified 33 different subsidy programs in Brazil, 41 in South Korea and 17 in Turkey.

Imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from these countries have rocketed 73% between 2012 and 2014. The import rush continued this year, surging by a further 54% year over year during Jan-May 2015. According to the DOC, imports of certain hot-rolled steel flat products from these seven countries in 2014 were valued at roughly $2 billion. South Korea led the pack with $678.8 million worth of exports of these products to the U.S.

These products are being illegally dumped by foreign steel producers in the American market at unfairly low prices that significantly undercut the prices of U.S. steel makers. These imports have also captured an increasing share of the U.S. market, thereby hurting production, shipments, selling prices and margins of U.S. steel makers.

Imports of subsidized steel remain a significant concern for the U.S. steel industry that directly or indirectly supports over a million jobs. Domestic producers are struggling to cope with falling steel prices as a result of the combined impact of imports and overcapacity in the industry. Price declines are expected to continue if tariffs are not imposed on imports.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute ("AISI") – an association of North American steel makers – finished steel imports rose 6% year over year in the first eight months of 2015, based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (“SIMA”) data. Estimated year-to-date market share of finished steel import is 30%, higher than 28% recorded for full-year 2014.

Domestic steel makers, in Jul 2015, cheered the USITC’s preliminary determination of injury on a trade case that was filed In June. The USITC found reasonable indications that a barrage of subsidized imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan are causing material injury to the U.S. steel industry.

U.S. steel producers have also filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against eight countries accused of illegally dumping cheap cold-rolled steel that is used to make automotive products and appliances, among others.

The USITC is expected to make a preliminary determination of injury on the hot-rolled steel case on or before Sep 25. If the USITC ruling finds injury in this dumping case, the investigations will continue and the DOC will be scheduled to make its preliminary countervailing duty determinations in Nov 2015 and preliminary antidumping duty determinations in Jan 2016. A victory in the case will ensure a fairer and more competitive market for American steel makers and workers.

The DOC said that it has started anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty probes into imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, South Korea and Turkey and anti-dumping duty investigations into imports of these products from Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK.

The nation’s biggest steel producers, last month, filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions with the DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) against these seven countries. The petitions, which were filed by six U.S. steel makers including Nucor (NUE - Analyst Report), U.S. Steel (X - Analyst Report), AK Steel (AKS - Analyst Report), Steel Dynamics (STLD - Snapshot Report) and ArcelorMittal USA – a part of ArcelorMittal (MT - Analyst Report) – charge that a torrent of significantly subsidized imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from these nations are causing significant injury to the U.S. steel industry.

The petitions, which were submitted in response to surging volumes of cheap imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from the seven alleged countries since 2012, also charge that producers in Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey benefit from a number of countervailable subsidies provided by their respective governments. The petitions identified 33 different subsidy programs in Brazil, 41 in South Korea and 17 in Turkey.

Imports of hot-rolled steel flat products from these countries have rocketed 73% between 2012 and 2014. The import rush continued this year, surging by a further 54% year over year during Jan-May 2015. According to the DOC, imports of certain hot-rolled steel flat products from these seven countries in 2014 were valued at roughly $2 billion. South Korea led the pack with $678.8 million worth of exports of these products to the U.S.

These products are being illegally dumped by foreign steel producers in the American market at unfairly low prices that significantly undercut the prices of U.S. steel makers. These imports have also captured an increasing share of the U.S. market, thereby hurting production, shipments, selling prices and margins of U.S. steel makers.

Imports of subsidized steel remain a significant concern for the U.S. steel industry that directly or indirectly supports over a million jobs. Domestic producers are struggling to cope with falling steel prices as a result of the combined impact of imports and overcapacity in the industry. Price declines are expected to continue if tariffs are not imposed on imports.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute ("AISI") – an association of North American steel makers – finished steel imports rose 6% year over year in the first eight months of 2015, based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (“SIMA”) data. Estimated year-to-date market share of finished steel import is 30%, higher than 28% recorded for full-year 2014.

Domestic steel makers, in Jul 2015, cheered the USITC’s preliminary determination of injury on a trade case that was filed In June. The USITC found reasonable indications that a barrage of subsidized imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan are causing material injury to the U.S. steel industry.

U.S. steel producers have also filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against eight countries accused of illegally dumping cheap cold-rolled steel that is used to make automotive products and appliances, among others.

The USITC is expected to make a preliminary determination of injury on the hot-rolled steel case on or before Sep 25. If the USITC ruling finds injury in this dumping case, the investigations will continue and the DOC will be scheduled to make its preliminary countervailing duty determinations in Nov 2015 and preliminary antidumping duty determinations in Jan 2016. A victory in the case will ensure a fairer and more competitive market for American steel makers and workers.
- See more at: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/188941/us-doc-launches-probe-into-hotrolled-steel-imports#sthash.Wjksp13Z.dpuf

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