NEW YORK U.S. imports of concrete reinforcing bar from Turkey are on course to continue mounting as importers rush to buy material ahead of a preliminary anti-dumping ruling vs. Turkish and Mexican product, market sources told AMM.
"This does not surprise me at all. ... Everyone is trying to import rebar from Turkey ahead of April 18," one U.S. rebar buyer said, referring to the date the U.S. Commerce Departments International Trade Administration (ITA) is scheduled to issue its preliminary determination in the case.
Import licenses for Turkish rebar surged to 56,576 tonnes thus far for March, license data collected through March 7 by Commerces Enforcement and Compliance division show. That represents more than 92 percent of the total 61,191 tonnes of rebar set to arrive.
However, U.S. rebar market participants expect import licenses for Turkish product to soften in April and May, as buyers might be required to pay retroactive duties.
Import licenses for Mexican rebar were at 1,629 tonnes through March 7.
Meanwhile, Spain has dropped off the radar for March, with no import licenses issued thus far. Spain shipped no rebar to the United States during the first 10 months of 2013, followed by a three-month flurry of activity.
Sources previously told AMM that the country could become a major U.S. supplier of rebar amid scant domestic demand in the country, elsewhere in Europe and from regular buyers Algeria (amm.com, Feb. 7).
"Turkish rebar is the most competitive in terms of price, which is why everyone wants to buy from Turkey. Rebar prices from Spain are not as competitive," a second U.S. rebar buyer said.
U.S. producers filed a trade complaint against rebar imports from Turkey and Mexico in September, claiming the material was being sold at less than fair value and that Turkish product was being subsidized (amm.com, Sept. 4).
Turkish and Mexican rebar producers have denied the allegations.