EU Circumvention claims against stainless steel not tenable?
EU Circumvention claims against stainless steel not tenable?

5 October 2023 – The circumvention claims made by EUROFER and EU stainless steel producers against cold-rolled stainless steel products from Turkey, Taiwan and Vietnam originating in Indonesia are proving to be extremely shaky and contrived after only a brief analysis. US bond yields rise noticeably and the ISM industrial index points to a continued robust development of the US economy.

EU Circumvention claims against stainless steel not tenable?

The EU anti-circumvention case against flat-rolled stainless steel imports from Taiwan, Vietnam and Turkey originating in Indonesia has caused a lot of head-shaking, anger and incomprehension not only in the European market but also in the countries of origin. 

Inconsistencies in costs and prices

After a first brief analysis of the questionable statement of the circumvention claim that we were able to inspect, several inconsistencies already stand out, e.g. with regard to production costs, sales prices and energy costs. 

To give just one example. One only has to recall the alleged energy cost surcharges of some European stainless steel producers, which in December 2022 were stated to be in some cases more than 900 euros per tonne.

Self-service mentality of EU steel producers

The fact that these prices are completely unrealistic and made up out of thin air shows once again the prevailing self-service mentality of the EU steel producers. For the portfolio from which they can help themselves – be it subsidies, free CO2 certificates or laws as they are needed at the moment – seems to be infinite.

The purpose behind these unrealistic energy cost surcharges was probably the desire for further energy subsidies. And was just one of the points we were able to identify within a few minutes. We are curious to see what other dirt both we and the law firms already involved will find in this circumvention case.

Record results in 2022 do not fit the complaint

If we now put the record results of the EU stainless steel producers and the accompanying jubilant celebrations in relation to the alleged production stoppages in the second half of 2022, we stumble irrevocably across discrepancies. What damage is supposed to have been caused by imports here? Who are you actually trying to fool? Your customers, the EU? Or the taxpayer? Or is it all three at once?

US bond yields rise noticeably

The yield on ten-year Bunds rose above three per cent on Wednesday for the first time since June 2011. US government bonds of the same maturity were yielding around 4.86 per cent, 30-year bonds even over five per cent – in each case the highest level since July 2007. The reason for the noticeable increase at the beginning of the week was strong economic data from the USA. Both the unexpectedly high number of job openings according to the JOLTS report for August and a moderately improved leading economic indicator – the ISM index for industry – point to a continued robust development of the US economy. 

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