26 Aug 2009 16:28

Russia decides against anti-dumping duty on coated steel

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) - The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry has rounded off an anti-dumping investigation into polymer-coated steel from China, South Korea, Belgium, Finland and Kazakhstan but decided against imposing any anti-dumping measures.

The ministry said in a statement that there had been instances of dumping by those countries, but no evidence of injury inflicted on the Russian economy.

The probe began in March 2008 following complaints by Severstal , Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) and Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) . ArcelorMittal and Angang Steel also had an interest in the investigation.

The ministry said imports of polymer-coated steel to Russia trebled to 459,000 tonnes between 2005 and 2007 inclusive.

It said prices averaged up 56.9% in 2006 compared with 2005, and 33.1% in 2007 to $931 a tonne (not including VAT or customs duty). The dumping margin for each country exceeded 2%.

The domestic market for the period in question increased by 167.4%, while sales of locally produced coated steel fell 5.7 percentage points.

But there was no damage to the Russian economy as the complainants raised production in the period 2.5-fold and capacity utilization 30.3 percentage points. Domestic market sales grew 197.5% and exports grew 37.4%.

The ministry obtained the opinion of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, which said existing capacity to producer polymer-coated steel could not meet the domestic market's entire demand. The FAS believes that anti-dumping measures could strengthen the market position of the three complainants (NLMK, MMK and Severstal) and that this could push prices up.

Russia currently charges 5% import duty on polymer-coated steel from most countries, and a zero duty on that imported from Kazakhstan.