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ITA slams Mexico hard in rebar dumping case

Keywords: Tags  rebar, anti-dumping, Turkey, Mexico, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Significant preliminary anti-dumping duties have been levied on rebar imports from Mexico, but the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) was much easier on Turkish producers.

Mexican steel producer Grupo Acerero SA de CV was assessed a preliminary dumping margin of 66.7 percent; Grupo Simec SAB de CV received a rate of 10.66 percent; and Deacero SAPI de CV (formerly Deacero SA de CV) and all other Mexican producers were assessed a margin of 20.59 percent.

For Turkey, mandatory respondents Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi AS was assessed a margin of zero, while Icdas Celik Enerji ve Ulasim Sanayi AS and all other Turkish rebar producers received a 2.64-percent margin.

"We’re pleased with the department’s findings on Mexico and we’re disappointed with the department’s findings with regards to some of the Turkish producers," a source close to the trade case petitioners told AMM, but they expect Turkish producers’ margins to be higher in the final decision. "We've got a long way to go to the final (decision), and with verifications and with further investigation we think the margins are likely to go up on the Turkish side."

The ITA ruled that critical circumstances exist for some rebar imports from both countries, making the duties applicable for imports made 90 days prior to the preliminary decision. Mexico’s Grupo Simec and Turkey’s Habas and Icdas were excluded from the critical circumstances order.

Most market sources polled said that Mexican duties were higher than expected, while Turkish margins were lower.

"The domestic industry wanted much more than that (on Turkey)," one Midwest distributor source said.

Coupled with the critical circumstances ruling, the high margins will make it hard for mills south of the border to compete, sources said.

"The Mexican mills will have a harder time selling their rebar, if at all, and so the Turkish mills will have more breathing room," one trader said.

A second Midwest distributor source said that the high duties on Mexico could encourage a domestic price increase as mills south of the border had shorter lead times and served customers without easy access to offshore material. "Now that it’s out and official, we could see a price increase any day," he said.

The first Midwest source, however, disagreed that a price increase was imminent due to the low margins on Turkey. "The problem was really Turkey, so that’s not going to allow them to move upward at all," he said, adding that the margins on Icdas and other Turkish producers would still allow them to be competitive in the domestic market.

Turkish rebar imports were expected to hit 142,988 tonnes in March while Mexican imports were anticipated at 19,883 tonnes, according to the latest license application data from Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance division..

The ITA is scheduled to make its final decision in the anti-dumping case around July 3.

The five petitioners in the case, filed in September, are Byer Steel Group Inc., Cascade Steel Rolling Mills Inc., Commercial Metals Co., Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc. and Nucor Corp.

The ITA assessed no countervailing duties on Turkish rebar imports earlier this year (, Feb. 20).

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