NEW YORK 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 told AMM.
Anti-dumping and 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 toimport 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.