US finds SA exporters sold steel wire rod at ‘less than fair value’

The United States’ antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from South Africa has found that exporters from South Africa sold wire rod in the US at less than fair value.

Affirmative final determinations were announced by US secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, yesterday.

“Today’s decision allows US producers of carbon and alloy steel wire rod to receive relief from the market-distorting effects of foreign producers dumping their goods into the domestic market,” he said. “While the United States values its relationship with South Africa … even our closest friends must play by the rules.”

Ross noted that US Customs and Border Protection would be instructed to collect cash deposits from importers of wire rod from SA at the final rates and to impose provisional measures on entries of wire rod from SA. This would be effective 90 days prior to the publication of the preliminary determination in the Federal Register.

He pointed out that if the US International Trade Commission made an affirmative final injury determination, the Department of Commerce would then issue AD orders.

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist, Michael Ade, emphasised last year that antidumping orders and relevant duties on South African wire rod imports would squeeze the profit margins of the local steel industry.

He stated that there was a need for all stakeholders across the value chain of the industry to remain unified and support a sector-related government policy stance in order to lessen the investigation’s impact.

A statement from the US Department of Commerce noted that the collapsed entity comprising ArcelorMittal SA, Scaw SA and Consolidated Wire Industries had been assigned a dumping rate of 142.26% based on “adverse facts available due to its failure to respond to Commerce’s request for information”.

All other producers or exporters were assigned a dumping rate of 135.46%.

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