European steel safeguard could have by-country quota

10/10/2018 12:00 - 172 total view

The European Commission in its definitive safeguard will probably implement individual steel quotas for countries with a "significant interest" in supply, sources at the Eurometal forum in Hamburg said.

These quotas will be based on a three year average of the country's imports into the EU. The Commission provided country-by-country quotas for those regions responsible for 5pc or more of import supply in its previous safeguard in 2002, and this could serve as a benchmark for the current investigation.

Some participants at the Eurometal meeting suggested country-by-country quotas would not work for those exporters with duties already in place because it would prevent them from fulfilling their quotas at the expense of buyers. And others said it would be extremely hard to enforce such tariffs.

Some product categories could be exempt — similar to the 2002 safeguard — or definitions could be refined to aid some buyers — the automotive lobby is working to ensure automotive hot-dip galvanised is not covered by the definitive safeguard.

Other product categories will probably have global quotas in line with the existing preliminary safeguard. The definitive quotas could be in place by late January or early February.

Traders said material arriving into the EU early next year — with the preliminary quota set to expire in early February — would be held at ports for the maximum period of 90 days before duties have to be paid. This way the material can be cleared once the definitive safeguard is announced. Alternatively, the material could be held in bonded warehouses where duty does not need to be paid. This could result in a large amount of material clearing customs once any new duty is implemented.

Coil volumes from Turkey and India are being monitored closely after material from the former undermined the price expectations of northwest European mills.
October 10, 2018
Source: Argus Media