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USW sees no conflict in China trade case, energy agreement

The United Steelworkers union says the section 301 trade case it filed last week against Chinese practices is separate but complementary to the agreement it signed last month with two Chinese power generation companies.

The 301 case asks the US trade representative to investigate five areas of “protectionist and predatory practices” used by the Chinese to develop their green sector at the expense of US jobs and production.

Wire Decking From China Does Not Injure U.S. Industry, Says USITC

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that a U.S. industry is neither materially injured nor threatened with material injury by reason of imports of wire decking from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Deanna Tanner Okun and Commissioners Daniel R. Pearson, Shara L. Aranoff, and Dean A. Pinkert voted in the negative. Commissioners Charlotte R. Lane and Irving A. Williamson voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty order will be issued on imports of the product from China.

The Commission’s public report Wire Decking for China (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-466 and 731-TA-1162 (Final), USITC Publication 4172, July 2010) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

Copies may be obtained after August 10, 2010, by emailing, calling 202/205-2000, or by writing the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202/205-2104.

US imposes duties on imports of wire decking from China

The US government slapped preliminary anti-dumping duties on imports of more than 300 million dollars worth of wire decking from China, the Commerce Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

The department claimed that it found dumping of wire decking from China after investigation. The tariffs of between 42.61 to 289 percent will be imposed and collected until a final determination is made in the case.

Wire decking reinforced with structural supports is designed generally for industrial and other commercial storage rack systems.

The United States has imposed duties on a variety of Chinese goods including steel pipes, grating and tubular goods based on other investigations.

The wire decking anti-dumping case is another move that might escalate trade disputes between the two major trade players in the world.

Source: Xinhua

US mills file trade case against Chinese OCTG

In a widely anticipated move, antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against imports of Chinese OCTG have been filed with the US government. Seven US pipe producers and the United Steelworkers union (USW) filed the cases alleging that Chinese OCTG producers have been benefiting from enormous government subsidies – and that dumping margins range from 40% to 100%.

Source: Steel Business Briefing

NEWS ALERT! China Puts Halt to Steel Exports

Under government mandate today, it was announced that Chinese steel products for July production will not be available for exports, as they are to remain in the domestic market to be used in the relief efforts for the devastating May 12 earthquake in China.There is market chatter suggesting that the Chinese mills are having trouble getting orders and may move their prices down a notch for their next offering. Today 100,000 people effected by the recent earthquake in China were relocated once again due to mud slides now effecting the region during the current rainly season.

Has the US Hit it’s Peak?

US flat rolled mills have increased their prices every month so far this year, but now there are talks that demand may be faltering, and there is more hot rolled coil (HRC) availability.

Has the market finally reached its peak?

The flat rolled market has seen a wave of increases since the beginning of this year. Domestic mills have continually upped their prices to keep up with rising raw material costs and strong demand. But now it seems the market may be leveling off. Either that or perhaps a seasonal slowdown is occurring.

All of the major domestic mills made their July price announcements a couple of weeks ago, and to customers
surprise, the increase wasn’t as hefty as some expected. Whereas a couple months ago, increases were in the three-digits, the most recent one was modest comparatively. Two major mills even extended their July pricing through the month of August as well, suggesting that things may finally be beginning to cool off.

There have been a couple explanations for this, but most agree, as galvanized coil demand was losing its momentum, mills shifted their production to HRC, as that product was much stronger. Now, ironically, there is more tonnage available and not as strong of a demand for it. This could just be the usual summer doldrums, but it could also be the flat rolled market finally hitting the peak of its latest price rally.

The above offers are for August production and October deliveries as Chinese steel products for July production will not be available for exports, as they are to remain in the domestic market to be used in the relief efforts for the devastating May earthquake in China, according to government mandate.

Panic Buying Sends Steel Prices to New Record Highs

April 25, 2008 – Today saw steel prices soar to record highs as a report released by world steel producers confirmed worries that current production has failed to keep pace with world demand. One industry official, who did not wish to be named, expects the panic buying to continue and noted that “for the past decade, prices of scrap steel fluctuated between $50-$80 USD/ton.” Late last year, that price doubled to $150 -$200 USD/ton. By March 2008 it doubled again to $345USD.

Today’s surge to $865 USD/ton reflects a depletion of steel reserves to historic lows and the inability to increase production to keep pace with world demand.” One economist today noted that steel at these price levels will have a devastating effect on consumers worldwide. The world’s economies are built on steel. Without it, the machine breaks down. Right now there simply isn’t enough to go around.

Where will it stop?Nobody seems to know.After today’s activity, many feel certain that more increases are ahead.How high will it go?

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The Next Economic Crisis

Rising steel prices may cause more problems than fuel.

Back in 2006, the price of steel went a little bit crazy for about a month. Base prices, discounts and surcharges all fluctuated weekly – even daily. In the end, contracts were not honored and customers were charged whatever the market would bear on the day of delivery. Scrap, which had sold for 60 dollars a ton back when gas was $1.50 a gallon, was going for 150 to 200 dollars a ton depending on location.

Then things normalized. Prices went down a little and stayed more or less stable. There was some speculation for a while about whether the claimed shortages were real or the steel companies were just being greedy, but generally the whole incident was gladly forgotten. Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the elements are in place for real shortages and even more drastic – even catastrophic – price increases.

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