Sat, May 26, 2012 - Page 12 News List

S Korean hot rolled steel did not harm market: ITC

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

The export of hot rolled steel plates from South Korea and India did not cause substantial damage to the market, the International Trade Commission (ITC) concluded yesterday.

The ruling, which came after an anti-dumping case initiated by China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), will now be referred to the Ministry of Finance for cancelation, commission deputy executive secretary Herbert Juan (阮全和) said yesterday.

CSC filed the application with the ministry in November last year, seeking the imposition of anti-dumping taxes on hot rolled steel plates from steelmakers such as Dongkuk Steel Mill Co, Pohang Iron and Steel Co and Hyundai Hysco Co of South Korea as well as Steel Authority of India and the Essar Group of India.

The commission investigated whether imports from those countries damaged local steel firms, reviewing market share, prices and market competition to gauge if the imports had undermined the local steel industry and if so, to what degree.

The commission found that the market share of hot rolled steel plate imports from the two countries increased to only 5 percent from 2007 to last year, during which period the market share of domestic counterparts increased to 85 percent.

As a result, the commission concluded that the imports had not caused significant price changes in the local steel market since 2009, with steel exporters from other foreign countries selling the same kind of products at even lower prices in the local market.

Even though domestic demand for the steel plates decreased between 2007 and last year, the price of domestic hot rolled steel plates still rose in the same period, proving that the imports did not have an adverse impact on the prices in the local steel market during the time period, the report said.

Juan said CSC had claimed its profits had fallen, but that must have been caused by a rise in coal prices and cost increases seen in raw materials, such as iron ore.

The fact that the domestic steel plates were sold at the highest price in the local market, but their market share still rose, clearly indicated that the imports were not a factor in causing the profits of domestic steel makers to fall, the report said.

Notwithstanding the fact that CSC has certain non-price advantages in the local market and taking into account other economic factors, the commission concluded that the imports did not cause substantial damage to the local market, Juan said.

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