Domestic rebar mills believe that Turkish rebar producers are
manipulating the chemistry of rebar delivered to the United
States in order to lower the volume of imports watched closely
by U.S. producers and avoid a trade suit, but Turkish producers
firmly deny the accusation.
"The Turks were trying
to hide volumes in ways that would not necessarily jump out. It
would appear they deliberately adjusted the chemistry to avoid
the shipments being captured in SIMA (Steel Import Monitor
Analysis) data," said an industry source close to the
Through June of this
year, 13,613 tonnes of Turkish alloy rebar entered the United
States, according to U.S. Customs Bureau data. Though
relatively modest, the shipments mark the first time Turkey has
exported material to the United States classified as such. The
material arrived in Houston in several bulk shipments in March,
May and June in volumes of 4,895 tonnes, 5,541 tonnes, and
3,132 tonnes respectively. Two much smaller shipments of 104
tonnes and 46 tonnes arrived in New Orleans in March and New
York in April.
Alloy rebar is not a
customary steel product and it is unlikely that U.S. rebar
buyers intentionally purchased alloy rebar, sources said.
"I dont think
this was an accident," said the industry source. "This was a
deliberate attempt to spike it."
have discussed filing a trade case against Turkey since early
this year (
amm.com, July 9), claiming that Turkish producers
have dumped rebar in the United States at below production
cost. If large quantities of rebar were being categorized
incorrectly as alloy rebar, building such a case against Turkey
would be more difficult.
producers questioned by the Turkish Steel Producers Association
(TSPA) stated flatly they do not mix alloys into their
are not exporting such material to the United States," Veysel
Yayan, secretary general of the Turkish Steel Producers
Association told AMM.
Yayan dismissed the
notion that there was an intentional scheme among Turkish
producers to circumvent U.S. import data and avert a trade
case, saying that the volumes being imported are too negligible
to be part of a concerted scheme to avoid import data.
"It (the volume of
shipments) is only around 2 percent (of our total rebar exports
to the U.S.). It does not affect anything. This is not a
realistic commitment," he said. "We are exporting 10 millions
(each year). 10,000 tons is nothing."
Less than 5
percent3.2 percent to be exactof the total 421,852
tonnes of rebar Customs reported was imported into the U.S.
from Turkey through the first six months of this year was
classified as alloy rebar.
When rebar is imported
from Turkey or other offshore sources, the foreign producer
describes the product in its mill certification, then the
importer of record labels the shipment as a particular
Harmonized Tariff Schedule number. Most Turkish material is
imported as carbon rebar or coiled carbon rebar. Some Turkish
rebar, however, is entering the United States labeled with the
number 7228308010, or "concrete reinforcing bar of other alloy
steel", which does not appear on SIMAs public import data
actually trying to do by using entries of alloyed bar is lower
the numbers," a mill source charged. "Theyre trying to
hide some of the volume thats being reported as
Domestic mill sources
said they were uncertain what extra elements were being added
to spike the rebar, but suggested it could be copper or boron
and acknowledged that the imports likely meet domestic American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) quality standards.
Two traders who
regularly buy Turkish material said they had not imported alloy
rebar from Turkey.
"The contention that
they do it in a certain way that we dont have to declare
it as rebar is absurd. We import rebar at the same grade and
the same chemistry as always, and we declare it as rebar," said
one of the traders. "Im not aware of any scheme that was
cooked up to change the chemistry."
Domestic sources said
that though the tonnages of alloy rebar were small, they could
eventually accumulate and make it harder to build a trade case
"Its standard rebar, but the spike is done to try to
hide and take it out of the carbon classification, for
litigation purposes," said the industry source.