The Brazilian governments attempts to protect its
steel industry from high import levels generated mixed signals
While it imposed
anti-dumping duties on a range of products following
investigations, it didnt renew increased import tariffs
on 100 products from various sectors that were introduced in
2012, a move that surprised the domestic steel institute.
Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) concluded investigations into
five cases this year by putting in place anti-dumping
The affected products
are non-grain oriented electrical flat steels from China,
Taiwan and South Korea; welded austenitic stainless steel pipes
from China and Taiwan; carbon steel seamless pipe from China;
heavy plates from China, South Korea, Ukraine and South Africa;
and austenitic stainless cold-rolled coil from Germany, China,
South Korea, Finland, Taiwan and Vietnam.
In November, Brazil
also initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of
alloy steel seamless pipes from China.
federal government has decided to improve its anti-dumping
legislation to make it more modern and transparent.
The decree issued in
late July replaces previous legislation published in 1995,
incorporating important changes to meet contemporary challenges
facing Brazilian foreign trade, according to the Brazilian
trade ministry MDIC.
Under the new
legislation the average length of future anti-dumping
investigations will be reduced to 10 months from 15 months,
with the deadline for a petition to be reviewed by government
authorities now set at 60 days.
Also, it is now
mandatory for authorities to issue a preliminary
government aims to ensure that preliminary determinations are
made within an average of 120 days after the probe is started,
against the previous average of 240 days.
All these measures
have been welcomed by local steel institute IABr.
But in August, the
Brazilian government decided not to renew increased steel
import tariffs introduced in 2012, saying there were now fewer
prospects of steel imports causing harm to domestic producers
on the back of an unfavorable exchange rate for imports.
Brazil had, in October
2012, imposed higher import duties on 100 products from various
sectors, including steel, aluminum and copper.
Steel goods affected
included hot-rolled coil, heavy plate, wire rod, stainless
steel sheet and coil, alloy bars, grain-oriented silicon steel,
pipes and drawn products.
IABr was surprised by
the governments decision to not renew those tariffs, as
it believes that the reasons that led to the imposition of the
higher import duties had yet to be corrected.
When revising its
import forecast for 2013, IABr president Marco Polo de Mello
Lopes said that the Brazilian governments claim
didnt hold water.
IABr now expects steel
imports to fall by only 0.5 percent to 3.76 million tonnes
compared with an August prediction of a 14.4-percent drop to
3.24 million tonnes.
Brazil has also given
up on setting boosting import duties for a second list of 100
Steel goods made up
almost one-quarter of the 262 items that were considered for
the second list.
A version of this
article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel