Mid-Continent Steel & Wire plans to increase production of steel nails after the US Commerce Department approved its request for exclusions from Section 232 tariffs, the company said on Wednesday April 3.
The exclusions, officially published online on Tuesday, cover close to nine-tenths of the volume of imported steel that Mid-Continent uses, the company said.
“We have been making nails all through the nine-and-a-half months it took for our requests to be granted... We can now methodically ramp up production levels, moving toward the growth path we were on before the tariffs went into effect,” Mid-Continent operations general manager Chris Pratt said in a statement.
The Poplar Bluff, Missouri-based steel manufacturer applied for exclusions from the Section 232 tariffs on June 18 of last year after the trade duties were applied to Canada and Mexico, from which the company said it sources the majority of its raw materials. Mid-Continent argued in its request for exclusions that domestic steelmakers could not supply the volume of raw materials needed to sustain its operations - which Commerce ultimately agreed with.
The company had said in September that the Section 232 measures were pushing the company to the brink of closure, since Mid-Continent’s foreign competitors could make steel nails overseas and subsequently export the product to the US market free of tariffs.
The tariffs had a damaging effect on Mid-Continent’s business, it noted. By the time the company won the exclusions request, its work force had been reduced to less than 300 from more than 500 at the time the tariffs were levied against Canada and Mexico.
Fastmarkets AMM’s assessment for industrial quality low-carbon wire rod is currently at $38-40 per hundredweight fob mill, down by 0.3% from $38.25-40 per cwt previously but still up by 2.6% from $37-39 per cwt one year ago.