19 Feb 2019 10:24

NLMK to dispute preliminary U.S. decision to maintain antidumping duty on hot-rolled steel

MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) - The U.S. Department of Commerce, following a preliminary investigation of hot-rolled steel shipments to the United States by NLMK Group for 2016-2017, has tentatively established that there were unfair trade practices, Commerce Department materials show.

NLMK does not agree with the preliminary decision and will dispute it, the Russian steelmaker told Interfax.

"The preliminary decision is based, among other things, on the responses of NLMK's competitors and concern such procedural issues that it is dubious to count as proof of unfair practices," a company spokesman said.

For example, the Commerce Department cites "the argument of the supposedly late timing of NLMK hot-rolled steel shipments to the U.S. - several months prior to the company's application for a review of the duties, while such timing does not contradict current norms. We expect that the U.S. Commercial Department will make a balanced decision," the spokesman said.

In February 2018, the Commerce Department announced the beginning of probes into the size of existing antidumping duties and compensatory measures on a number of goods imported into the U.S., including a review of the size of the antidumping duty on NLMK hot-rolled steel. The period covered by the investigation is December 1, 2016 to November 30, 2017.

The review was initiated by NLMK, whose hot-rolled steel shipments at the time were not substantial.

Oleg Petropavlovsky of BCS estimated that NLMK shipped 1.5 million-2 million tonnes of hot-rolled steel to the U.S. in 2017.

The U.S. antidumping duty for imports of hot-rolled steel has been 184.56% for all Russian producers since December 2014.