NEW YORK The International Trade Commission (ITC) has made a preliminary determination that imports of rebar from Turkey and Mexico have materially injured or threaten to injure U.S. rebar producers, it said Nov. 1.
The ruling will allow the Commerce Departments anti-dumping and countervailing duty margin investigation to proceed against the two countries.
The determination follows rebar producers petition to the ITC to begin investigations into imports of allegedly dumped rebar from Turkey and Mexico and subsidized rebar from Turkey, which producers claim have injured and threaten to further injure the U.S. industry (amm.com, Sept. 4).
The ITC voted 5-0 in favor of domestic producers on imports from Turkey, and 4-1 in favor of domestic producers on imports from Mexico, with Commissioner Shara L. Aranoff voting against, and new commissioner F. Scott Kieff abstaining from both votes, Alan H. Price, lead counsel for the domestic producers, told AMM.
"All the commissioners found that the U.S. industry was injured or threatened by imports of Turkey, and 4 out of 5 commissioners found that U.S. industries were injured or threatened by imports from Mexico," Price said.
The vote leaves an open path for the Commerce Department to impose duties on Mexican and Turkish rebar imports, depending on Commerces preliminary duty determinations scheduled in December and February (amm.com, Oct. 30).
One trader called the vote a "low hurdle," adding the ITC decision was not a surprise.
"I didnt wait with bated breath here. (But) the bar will be higher from now on," he said. "The Turks will raise a big stink, but most people had expected it. Its a rubber stamping decision."
Some market players said in the days leading up to the Nov. 1 vote that the determination could have a major impact on pricing, with offers likely to spiral upward if the ITC voted affirmative.
If the market believes duties will be imposed, the importer of record is likely to charge a premium to create a price cushion if a duty is placed.
"The dynamic is going to change significantly after Nov. 1. ... If the ITC votes yes, this should go forward, youre going to see $630 (per tonne), $640, $650," a source said.
AMMs imported rebar price is currently at a range of $550 to $570 per short ton ($606 to $628 per tonne).
For domestic producers, the determination is a recognition that rebar producers have been damaged by underpriced imports.
"This ruling confirms the injurious effects that Mexican and Turkish imports of rebar are having on the U.S. industry," Price said. "Imports from these countries have surged into the U.S. marketplace, hurting U.S. producers and workers."
Commerce has found reason to believe Mexican producers were dumping rebar into the United States at margins ranging from 48.82 percent to 66.70 percent and that Turkish producers were dumping rebar into the United States at margins ranging from 35.01 percent to 36.99 percent. Commerce is also investigating subsidy programs offered by the Turkish government in support of its rebar industry, the Rebar Trade Action Coalition, the team of domestic producers filing the case, said in a statement.
The domestic producers filing the case include Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp., Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America, Irving, Texas-based Commercial Metals Co., McMinnville, Ore.-based Cascade Steel Rolling Mills Inc. and Cincinnati-based Byer Steel Corp.