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Mexico probes Russian plate imports

Keywords: Tags  Mexican Secretariat of Economy, steel plate imports, rolled steel, Ternium Mexico, Severstal, MMK, Novolipetsk Steel, Rodrigo Alonso

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy is investigating an alleged evasion of anti-dumping duties on imports of rolled steel plates from Russia.

The investigation was opened following a request by Ternium Mexico SA de CV, according to a resolution published July 5 in Mexico’s official gazette, and targets material from 4.75- to 10-millimeters thick.

The case is very similar to an investigation opened at the end of May, involving boron-containing plate from Russia and Ukraine, although that covered plate up to 115-mm thick (, May 15).

In November 2012, Mexico extended for another five years its countervailing duty of 29.3 percent on such plate imports from Russia.

"Due to its high degree of interchangeability, and because rolled steel plate (without boron) and boron-containing rolled plates are "commodity" products, the price is the main commercial motivator for their purchase, which reveals the intention of the importers to evade payment of the anti-dumping duty," Ternium alleges.

"The Secretariat (of Economy) determined that there is sufficient evidence to presume that (companies) are making imports of boron-containing rolled plates from Russia, with minor differences (compared with) rolled steel plate subject to the anti-dumping duty, in order to avoid the payment of the duty," according to the resolution.

Between January and December of 2012, about 69 percent of boron-containing rolled steel plate consumed in Mexico was imported by local service centers and distribution companies, which offered the product to manufacturers and end-users at lower prices compared with domestic rolled steel plate, Ternium added.

Authorities will investigate the imports and their possible damage to the Mexican industry during 2012.

The resolution also mentions exporters who "might be interested" in taking part in the investigation, including OAO Severstal, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) and Novolipetsk Steel.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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