NEW YORK Participants in
the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) market say a trade case
against South Korean producers of welded energy tubulars is
"imminent," with a distributor reporting that at least one
producer has already reserved the right to cancel shipments if
a trade petition is filed.
"They have the right to cancel
if an (anti-dumping suit) hits," the distributor said.
A number of mills in the United
States, including U.S. Steel Corp. (
amm.com, Oct. 31) and Tenaris SA (
amm.com, Nov. 8), have said that they are mulling
a trade case against producers in the Asian nation due to a
substantial increase in low-priced imports.
Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based seamless producer Vallourec
SA has also said a U.S. trade case is in the works (
amm.com, Nov. 9).
South Korea imported 840,703
tons of welded OCTG to the domestic market from January to
November last year, a 31.7-percent increase over the same
period in 2011, according to figures from the Commerce
"The Koreans are just saturating
the market right now," the OCTG distributor said.
A trader confirmed the trend,
noting that he sees a distinct possibility of an anti-dumping
suit being filed in the "next four to six weeks." However, he
cautioned that such talk has been ongoing for the past couple
"Theres always somebody
else that tells somebody that its imminent. It can only
be imminent for a week or two, but not two years," he said.
He suggested that mills could be
waiting for the upcoming earnings season to file the
"They could be waiting for
another quarterly result that might show their earnings going
down or whatever they need to prove," he said.
Some sources said a dumping suit
would be one way to address a growing oversupply of energy
tubulars in the U.S. market.
"More capacity is coming
on-stream both in the U.S. and overseas. The only salvation
would be a dumping suit," the trader said.
Sources said the possible case
could also include other Asian or even Eastern European
nations. Vietnam was the second-largest importer of welded OCTG
to the domestic market over the first 11 months of 2012,
bringing in 209,836 tons, nearly triple the volumes brought in
during the same period in 2011, Commerce figures show.