NEW YORK Turkish and Mexican steel producers have joined traders and domestic voices protesting a trade case filed Sept. 4, insisting that rebar has not been dumped in the United States.
Importers of rebar to the United States, along with Turkish and Mexican rebar producers, are claiming that U.S. rebar producers are seeking a short-term advantage over import competition, allowing them a six-month, import-free window as the Department of Commerce determines potential dumping margins and imports dwindle (amm.com, Sept. 9).
"I dont think the Turkish mills have dumped, and I think the ruling will be a negative one. But there is a huge potential financial gain of having a trade case out at the right time," said a trader.
"The whole thing is ridiculous. You notice that theyre quoting the increase in Turkish and Mexican and increasing the market share from 7 to 17 percent," said a rebar buyer, referring to the petitions claim that the countries market share doubled from 2010 to 2012. "The imports have accounted for about 20 percent for as long as I can remember."
The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), the International Rebar Exporters and Producers Association (Irepas) and the Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD) have also issued statements opposing the complaint.
Mexican producers have argued that their U.S. shipments to have been consistent and fairly priced. Apart from a few outlying months, imports from Mexico have been around 15,000 and 30,000 tonnes each month from the beginning of 2010 through July 2013, the last month with available data.
"We are very consistent. We never plan to increase our tonnage. We always send the same quantity per month. Basically, we dont want to make too much noise," said a Mexican rebar mill source. "I never thought that the case was coming."
Deacero SA de CV, the largest Mexican rebar exporter to the United States, will be represented by White & Case LLP, according to documents filed Sept. 9 with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Deacero declined to comment on the case.
Domestic producers claim in the petition filed last week that the Turkish government has been subsidizing producers with preferential loans, reduced coal and natural gas prices from Turkish state-owned enterprises, export credits and insurance.
Turkish producers have denied receiving state subsidies.
"The claims are baseless. There is no state aid, in accordance with free trade agreements," TCUD general secretary Veysel Yayan said.
Yayan said many Turkish producers expected U.S. producers to file a trade complaint after Nucor Corp.s executive chairman, Dan DiMicco, gave a speech at the Steel Success Strategies XXVIII conference in New York in which he said "unfortunately, we in the United States are the worlds dumping ground, including Turkeys, for rebar and other products". (amm.com, July 9).
"After Mr. DiMiccos statement in New York, we were expecting such a petition. And now, its happened," Yayan said.
Exports of rebar from Turkey to the United States rose from 160,897 tonnes in 2010 to 574,810 tonnes in 2012, according to the trade complaint.