Mining and Heavy Industries

Steel dumping move could help Arrium, but China disagrees

China’s Ministry of Commerce says Australia’s new import duties on Chinese rebar will not solve the global crisis facing the steel industry.

Australian industry minister Christopher Pyne last week accepted two Anti-Dumping Commission recommendations to impose duties on Chinese-made steel reinforcing bar and rod in coil imported into the country.

The commission found Chinese steel reinforcing bar is being dumped at margins from 11.7% to 30%, and Chinese rod in coil is being dumped at margins from 37.4% to 53.1%.

Pyne said this action has caused material injury to Australia’s steel industry.

South Australian steelmaker Arrium faces the closure of its Whyalla steel plant, as it struggles to compete in the global market, which is largely driven by China, the world’s largest steel producer.

Pyne said the anti-dumping decisions and subsequent import duties will ensure Arrium can compete on even ground with imports from other countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan in the local market.

“Australia takes pride in the quality and reliability of locally-produced steel products, so it’s only reasonable that our manufacturers compete in a fair market,” he said.

“The Australian Government is working to sustain the local steel industry, while acting within World Trade Organization rules.”

Assistant minister for science Karen Andrews last week told the OECD Steel Symposium in Brussels that Australia’s anti-dumping reforms are designed to ensure the local industry is not disadvantaged by unfair practices of foreign companies.

“There are currently some 44 anti-dumping measures in place on 12 steel products from 14 countries and we will be closely monitoring the effect of our reforms and developments in other countries to determine whether further changes are warranted,” Andrews said.

“The Commissioner has found that, during the investigation period, the dumping of these imports caused material injury to the Australian industry manufacturing steel reinforcing bar and rod in coil.”

China’s Commerce Ministry said trade protection measures will not solve the fundamental issues facing the global steel production industry.

According to a Reuters report, the minister said on Monday that China and Australia share a common interest in both the upstream and downstream steel industry, and trade measures such as these would not fix the fundamental supply and demand imbalance impacting producers and processors.

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