Stainless steel producer loses EU anti-dumping case
Stainless steel producer loses EU anti-dumping case

29 April 2022 – In the seven-year old case before the EU Court of Justice against the EU anti-dumping measure on flat-rolled stainless steel imports from Taiwan and China, the plaintiff has suffered a final defeat in the second instance. Temperatures of more than 45 degrees prevail in India and power cuts threaten – metal industry warns of production losses. And SHFE Nickel goes into the weekend with a decent plus.

India: Heat worsens energy shortage

India and Pakistan are suffering from a historic super heat in spring. Up to 50 degrees Celsius have been predicted for the coming days in India, which with its more than 1.3 billion inhabitants is one of the largest countries in the world – meteorologists believe that the super heat could even last for several weeks.

This not only puts people and animals in India and Pakistan under considerable strain, but also depletes water supplies, causes crops to wither in the fields and massively increases energy consumption.

India has been suffering from a severe energy shortage for months

India has already been suffering from a severe energy shortage for months. This has already had an impact on neighbouring countries, such as Nepal, which is dependent on energy supplies from India.

The background is the heavy dependence on coal in India’s energy production. More than 70% of India’s electricity is generated from coal. And coal is in short supply worldwide.

Worldwide competition for coal

The run on coal has broken out worldwide after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war. China and India in particular are heavily dependent on electricity from coal-fired power plants. There is massive competition between the two large economies, which has probably increased even more since China announced that it would suspend import taxes on coal for a year.

Metal industry has to reduce or stop production

The Indian metal industry, especially aluminium and steel producers, is struggling with supply bottlenecks. In some cases, production of metal products has already had to be reduced by more than 50% or shut down completely.

Sponge Iron (or Direct Reduced Iron) producers recently reported that they could only operate at 60% capacity – and Indian steel production is almost 30% dependent on Sponge Iron (DRI).

Indian aluminium producers dependent on coal

India’s aluminium smelters have also not been fully supplied with coal as a primary energy source for several months.

All this is leading to constraints and loss of production of metal products like aluminium and steel in India.

Power cuts expected in Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh

Very recently, Indian media are warning that there could be power blackouts in major urban centres such as Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as coal stocks run dry and replacements are not in sight. Even emergency power supply no longer seems to be guaranteed everywhere.

Europe: Taiwanese stainless steel producer loses EU anti-dumping case

Taiwanese stainless steel producer Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yieh) has suffered a final defeat at the European Court of Justice in the EU anti-dumping case against flat-rolled stainless steel products from Taiwan and China.

Stainless steel anti-dumping case from 2015

Yieh had already sued in 2015 to annul the European Commission’s decision imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled flat products originating in the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.

It was only in 2019 that the EU court found that Yieh’s complaint was unjustified and dismissed it. Yieh had then appealed. On 28 April 2022, the appeal has now again been dismissed on all counts.

EU courts mostly on the European Commission’s side?

This shows once again that the European Commission (EC), which was supported in the proceedings by the association of European steel producers EUROFER, is repeatedly covered by the European courts in their decisions. The period of time in which such proceedings are decided, the relevant anti-dumping case on, has meanwhile already been extended, adding up to a total of 7 years.

This raises the legitimate question of whether the courts are simply inefficient and overburdened or whether there has been a deliberate delay. And in the end only the lawyers have earned something from the proceedings.

SHFE: Nickel clearly up

The Asian nickel contracts on the SHFE went into the weekend with a significant plus of up to 3.24%. This continues the upward trend of the past months. On the LME, nickel and aluminium values are showing a slight plus again at the start of trading today. LME nickel is currently at around $ 33,000 per tonne.

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