Salzgitter facing triple-digit plate duties in preliminary US review

The United States Commerce Department has boosted anti-dumping duties on cut-to-length plate from German steelmaker Salzgitter to triple-digits in the preliminary stage of an administrative review.

Commerce set the dumping margin at 174.03% for Salzgitter, the agency said in a filing dated Thursday February 21. The company had been subject to duties of 22.9%.

Commerce alleged that Salzgitter sold plate at “less than normal value” during a review period spanning from November 14, 2016, to April 30, 2018.

The department did not disclose the calculations it used to arrive at a dumping margin that is more than seven times Salzgitter’s prior duty rate.

Commerce said it plans to issue final results in the administrative review within 120 days.

Germany - where Salzgitter is based - was one of 12 nations targeted in a trade case filed in 2016 against imports of cut-to-length plate. Commerce has also set anti-dumping margins for Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Africa, Taiwan and Turkey.

Germany shipped only 2,826 tonnes of cut-to-length plate to the US in the first 11 months of last year, less than half the 6,504 tonnes that arrived at domestic ports from the European nation in the same 2017 period, according to Commerce data last updated in early February. Both figures are only a fraction of the 130,697 tonnes of cut-to-plate shipped to the US from Germany in 2016, the year the plate trade case was filed.

Fastmarkets AMM’s price assessment for cut-to-length plate averaged $46.04 per hundredweight ($920.80 per ton) in 2018, up 33.9% from $34.39 per cwt the previous year and a 67.3% increase from $27.52 per cwt in 2016. This marks the highest annual average for plate prices since reaching $50.60 per cwt in 2011.

The price was last assessed at $47.50 per hundredweight on February 22, unchanged from the previous week but down by 4% from $49.50 per cwt at the end of last year.

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