NEW YORK The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) found "significant" underselling by producers of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from nine countries in the domestic market.
The ITC said the underselling "prevented domestic price increases which otherwise would have occurred to a significant degree," according to a posting on its website outlining its unanimous decision earlier this month that there was a reasonable indication the imports were harming the domestic industry (amm.com, Aug. 16).
Imported products undersold domestic product in 153 of 192 possible comparisons by an average of 9.5 percent and as high as 45 percent, according to the posting.
The ITC also found that imports from the nine countries gained increasing market share over the period of investigation to 25.3 percent in 2012 from 17 percent in 2010. As a result of the increased imports, operating income margins for the domestic industry declined to 9.8 percent in 2012 from 13.6 percent in 2010 even though domestic producers increased their output to 3.8 million tons from 2.9 million tons in the same comparison and capacity utilization rose to 63 percent from 52.5 percent, according to the ITC.
"Petitioners contend that these investments in new plant and equipment make the domestic industry especially vulnerable to the effects of subject imports because of the need to earn a reasonable return on these investments," the ITC wrote.