Stainless Espresso: Chinese steel slabs in short supply
Stainless Espresso: Chinese steel slabs in short supply

1 April 2022 – China is running out of HRC and steel slabs after Russia and Ukraine dropped out as important steel suppliers. Japan gets US tariff rate quota – but only for steel, not for aluminium. And beware of fortune seekers in the steel trade.

Scarce: Chinese steel slabs in short supply

According to media reports, the Chinese steel industry is running out of steel slabs. While Russia (sanctioned) and Ukraine (many steel mills shut down) were previously the main suppliers of steel slabs, demand has shifted since the conflict broke out, draining the Chinese slab and HRC market in the process.

S232: Japan only gets steel exception

US President Joe Biden announced today, 1 April 2022, the Tariff Rate Quota ruling on Section 232 tariffs on steel between the United States and Japan. This will allow Japanese steel producers to export approximately 1.25 million tonnes of steel per year to the United States without being affected by the 25% punitive tariffs on steel imports. However, this is on the condition that 100% of the steel is melted and cast in Japan.

Aluminium tariffs remain in place

Japan and the United States have not yet been able to reach an agreement on the aluminium tariffs. There still seem to be major differences between the countries. In particular, Japan has so far not been able to give credible assurances that the aluminium does not come from third countries, such as China, via Japan to the USA.

Beware of fortune hunters in the steel trade

Beware of offers made by soldiers of fortune. There are currently more and more offers from traders outside the market. Mostly without specific knowledge of import and export regulations, market protection measures, legal framework conditions and, last but not least, qualitative aspects. In addition, there are currently the sanctions against Russia, the circumvention of which – whether knowingly or unknowingly – can even lead to criminal consequences including prison sentences.

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