Indonesian stainless steel exports investigated in EU
The European Commission has launched an anti-circumvention investigation into imports of Indonesian-origin stainless steel cold rolled flat products from Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.
Material entering the EU also became subject to immediate registration after the Commission launched its investigation in response to concerns raised by the European Steel Association (Eurofer).
The measure follows the imposition of both antidumping and countervailing duties which were applied to Indonesian products from November 2021 and March 2022, respectively.
The Commission said Eurofer’s request to investigate potential circumvention contained “sufficient evidence that the existing anti-dumping measure on import of the products concerned are being circumvented”.
It said a change in the pattern of trade involving exports from Indonesia, as well as Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam, to the Union had taken place following the imposition of the existing antidumping measures.
MEPS International researcher Jonathan Carruthers-Green said: “In April, a similar investigation found that antidumping duties on stainless steel hot rolled coil from Indonesia had been evaded by routing the material through Turkey.
“The 17.3% duties that the Indonesian material attracted were also applied to Turkish products. If the European Commission concludes that the same pattern is occurring here, then we can expect a similar response.”
Eurofer’s evidence suggests that Indonesian stainless steel slab and hot rolled flat products were being transferred to Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam for finishing or assembly, the Commission said.
The value of the stainless steel employed still constituted over 60 percent of the value of the finished product exported into the EU, it said.
Interested parties are now being invited to submit evidence to the Commission’s investigation process, which will take nine months.
Eurofer welcomed the investigation, and the immediate registration of the imports from Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam, which could result in retroactive application of the existing duties.
Eurofer director general Axel Eggert said: “Since the imposition of both anti-subsidy and anti-dumping measures, the direct imports of Indonesian stainless steel cold rolled flat products (SSCR) virtually disappeared.”
Data analysed by MEPS International showed that imports of Indonesian cold rolled stainless steel into Europe peaked at 38,205 tonnes in quarter four of 2021. By quarter two 2022 they had declined by 74.4 percent, to 9,781 tonnes. In quarter two this year just 608 tonnes of material entered the EU directly from Indonesia.
Vietnam was the only one of the three countries now under investigation to record an uplift in direct exports to the EU between quarter four 2021 and quarter two of this year. Its volumes rose from 11,298 tonnes to 18,883 tonnes.
Taiwan’s exports declined from 63,100 to 34,353 tonnes in the same period, with Turkey’s volume down only marginally from 26,791 to 21,658.
Eggert alleged that Indonesian stainless steel producers, which had received “massive support” from their government, had been exporting slabs or stainless hot rolled coils that are then re-exported as finished stainless steel, including SSCR, to the EU, since 2021’s imposition of duties on Indonesian material, however.
He added: “The immediate registration of the imports from Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam is therefore crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the existing measures.”