Chinese wire rod exporters have pulled back on offers to the
United States for February over fears that retroactive duties
could be applied to imports of Chinese material, market sources
countervailing duty petitions were filed Jan. 31 with the U.S.
Commerce Departments International Trade Administration
(ITA) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on
behalf of ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Charter Steel, Evraz Rocky
Mountain Steel, Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc., Keystone
Consolidated Industries Inc. and Nucor Corp. (
amm.com, Jan. 31).
Wire rod import
transaction prices are holding steady at $570 to $580 per ton
c.i.f. Port of Houston for March and early April delivery.
A source at a Chinese
wire rod producer whose main export market is the United States
said that it hasnt had any bookings to the United States
for February as people are worried about paying duties.
"I usually buy from
China but I havent had any new offers. Ive spoken
to traders who are not offering. I dont expect to see any
offers from China. They will be prepared to back away from the
U.S. market as they may need to pay duties," one Midwest wire
rod buyer said. "U.S. importers may be forced to find
alternative markets such as Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab
Emirates and Spain. I dont believe there will be any
offers from China to the United States. I think China will sell
to other markets."
Wire rod buyers in the
United States rushed to the import market in December and
January to replenish inventories from China ahead of the widely
expected trade case.
"The trading companies
that we deal with are refusing to quote offers from China.
People have got imports from China arriving until June; there
is too much risk to import after June 1. The margins will be
100 percent, take my word for it. Trading companies are not
taking the risk," one East Coast buyer said.
Some 24,999 tonnes of
wire rod from China are expected to arrive in the United States
in February, down from 67,955 tonnes last month, according to
import license data through Feb. 14 from Commerces
Enforcement and Compliance division. U.S. wire rod imports
totaled 63,277 tonnes in January 2013.
"I havent heard
of any Chinese wire rod offers since the Chinese New Year
(holiday). There have been no offers from China. The traders
are the importers and they havent been offering because
they will be liable to pay the duties," said one wire rod buyer
in the South.