Steel Products Prices North America

What Impact Has HRC AD/CVD Suits Had on Imports?

Written by John Packard

In August 2015, the U.S. steel mills filed antidumping and countervailing duty charges against seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Antidumping (AD) was found in each of the seven countries with duties of 3.73 percent to as high as 34.28 percent. Countervailing Duties (CVD) were found to exist in two countries: Brazil (11.09-11.30 percent) and Korea (3.89-57.04 percent). The Final ITC Determination was found to be affirmative on September 12, 2016.

So, how have the AD/CVD trade suits impacted actual imports of hot rolled steel into the United States?

We are going to attempt to answer that question by looking at the import data from 2009 through 2015, then for 2016 and again for the first two months 2017 where the U.S. Department of Commerce has provided at least Preliminary Census data.

As you can see by the tables below hot rolled imports (all countries) grew steadily from 1.7 million tons in 2009 to 4.3 million tons in 2014. Since then, imports have dropped back to 2013 levels (2.8 million tons) and are on pace this year (first two months) to potentially reach the lowest levels seen since the Great Recession years of 2009/2010.

With the exception of 2014 and 2015, Canada has been the major hot rolled exporting country to the United States. The exception years saw Korea exceed the Canadian tons by about 100,000+ net tons per year. Korean tonnage has slipped during the 4Q 2016 and into 2017, especially when you consider they had been supporting the USS/POSCO steel mill on the West Coast for many years and that has essentially ceased.

In 2015 the top 9 countries importing HRC into the United States were (in descending order): Korea, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, UK (bolded countries were filed against)

In 2016 that changed to: Canada, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Italy (Brazil and UK dropped out)

In 2017 so far, the top countries are: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Egypt, Korea, Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, Sweden (Brazil, UK, Australia dropped out).

You can better understand why some countries (and mills within a country) continue to ship material to the United States by reviewing the AD/CVD final determinations on hot rolled coil:

Remember, when looking at the duties to take into consideration the value of the dollar against foreign countries currencies as well as the rapid rise in HRC values around the globe.

We will follow up this report with ones on cold rolled and coated products in the coming days.

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