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Essar mulls trade complaint against low-priced imports

Keywords: Tags  Essar Steel Algoma, quarterly earnings, dumping, imports, rolled plate, steel, Rey Mashayekhi

NEW YORK — Essar Steel Algoma Inc. is considering plans to initiate a trade complaint against "low-priced and possibly dumped imports" from Brazil, South Korea and other countries, citing threats posed by cheap imports and falling prices in its quarterly earnings report analysis.

"The company is very concerned about the surge of as-rolled plate imported into Canada over the past several months," Essar Steel said in its management discussion and analysis report. "Significant quantities of low-priced plate imports from South Korea, Brazil and five other countries have resulted in lost sales and reduced prices in the market."

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-based Essar Steel noted that historically the company has been affected "by both Canadian and United States trade legislation intended to limit dumping."

The report also cited risks posed to the company’s future outlook by rising global steel production, further declines in steel prices and increasing competition from domestic and international producers.

Essar Steel posted a net loss of $27.74 million—its sixth consecutive quarterly loss—for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 (, Aug. 13) despite posting its highest shipment levels in nearly two years and reporting that production and shipments were running at the highest annual rate in the company’s history.

In its earnings report, Essar Steel noted the effect of lower steel prices on its revenues; while sheet shipments increased 4.9 percent to 582,000 tons from 555,000 tons in the previous quarter, a 2.3-percent decline in quarter-to-quarter sheet sales prices hurt the company’s earnings. Likewise, a 7-percent fall in plate sale prices offset an increase in plate shipments, which rose 8.4 percent to 90,000 tons from 83,000 tons the previous quarter.

Essar Steel said its overall average selling price in the most recent quarter was $614 per ton, down 3.4 percent from $634 the previous quarter and 16.9 percent below $739 a year earlier.

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