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Mexico kicks off probe vs. China plate

Keywords: Tags  Mexico anti-dumping inquiry, plate imports, China plate, alloyed plate, non-alloyed plate, Ahmsa, Altos Hornos de Mexico SA de CV, Mexican Secretariat of Economy Angang Group International Trade

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government has opened an anti-dumping investigation into imports of alloyed and non-alloyed plates in sheet from China.

The investigation was requested by Altos Hornos de México SA de CV (Ahmsa), Mexico’s biggest integrated steelmaker, according to a resolution published in Mexico’s official gazette July 26.

The probe covers plate more than 4.5 millimeters thick, in widths greater than 600 mm and length up to 12.19 mm.

Imports have been entering the Mexican market at unfair prices, Ahmsa alleges, estimating that even with existing import duties of 3 percent, prices for the imported products trailed those charged by Mexican producers by about 12 percent in 2012, 17 percent in 2011 and 23 percent in 2010.

Authorities will investigate imports between January and December of 2012, a period in which imports of plate from China increased 194 percent, according to the resolution.

Authorities will also examine imports between January 2010 and December 2012.

"Ahmsa has scheduled to start in 2013 the operation of a new plate mill, which will increase its production capacity, which can be compromised by imports through price discrimination," the resolution stated.

Ahmsa last week commissioned its $1.5-billion Fénix expansion project, which comprises a 1.46-million-tonne-per-year blast furnace, a 1.2 million-tonne-per-year electric-arc furnace, a 1.2-million-tonne-per-year slab caster and a 1-million-tonne-per-year plate mill.

The Unit of Foreign Trade Practices will hold a public hearing March 28, 2014, the Mexican Secretariat of Economy said.

Exporters who "might be interested" in taking part in the investigation include Angang Group lnternational Trade Corp., Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corp., Hunan Valin Xiangtan lron & Steel Co. Ltd., the resolution said.

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

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