The decision by the government of the United States to impose a 25% trade duty on steel imports under Section 232 will decrease the volume of exports to the US from Al Ghurair Iron & Steel, despite strong demand, the company’s chief executive officer has said.
Abu Bucker Husain, who heads the flat steel re-rolling and coating company, was speaking on Monday March 26.
United Arab Emirates-based Al Ghurair is a joint venture between the UAE’s Saif Al Ghurair Group and Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. It exports about 90,000 tonnes per year of hot-dipped galvanized coil (HDG) to the US, from a total capacity for 500,000 tpy.
The US imported 282,408 tonnes of steel from the UAE in 2017 - 146,611 tonnes of which was HDG.
Al Ghurair is still getting inquiries from US customers, but they are asking for discounts to offset the effects of the new tariffs, Husain said.
The company currently offers HDG of 1mm thickness with 275g per square meter zinc coating at $935 per tonne fob. Its price is the same for the local market.
UAE authorities have asked to be exempted by the US from the Section 232 tariffs, but the country is not yet on the list of excluded nations. These currently include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the member countries of the EU, and South Korea - at least, until May 1 this year.
Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from these countries were suspended until May 1, the White House said on Thursday March 22.