The European ANGST of stainless steel from Indonesia
The European ANGST of stainless steel from Indonesia

6 September 2023 – It must smell like cold sweat of fear in the executive suites of the European stainless steel producers. The panic and envy towards the nickel and stainless steel giant Indonesia certainly seems to be enormous.

Editor’s note: It is once again time for clear words. And if we really wrote what we think, we could face a lawsuit for character assassination in relation to the accusation of corruption. Therefore, we stick to the provable facts. 

Dumping or simply the better location? 

With various market protection measures against hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless steel from Indonesia, European mills have already tried to destroy the competitive advantage of Indonesian manufacturers. Because what EUROFER likes to portray as dumping is ultimately nothing more than the better choice of location and the more innovative production processes.

Competitive advantage and innovation 

The Indonesians have succeeded in revolutionising the production process of stainless steel to such an extent that the Europeans, like their raw materials, should really be consigned to the scrap heap. The fact that the Chinese-Indonesian Tsingshan Group is also sitting on a mountain of nickel right under its feet makes matters even more difficult.

Innovation only at the expense of the EU taxpayer 

And that, of course, cannot and must not be the case in the eyes of EU mills. Innovation is not possible in Europe (unless the taxpayer pays for it – if necessary with a steel hammer to the neck), as is shown by the lie that EU steel producers have saved CO2 in recent years and have not achieved anything apart from producing less tonnage. 

The European Sales and Marketing Department 

If it were not for a subservient European Commission, which acts almost exclusively as the sales and marketing department of the EU member states and the big lobbying associations, the EU mills, which are dependent on stainless steel scrap, would be left with nothing. For the EC sometimes turns a blind eye and, if necessary, tramples on its own anti-dumping regulations when it comes to the urgent fulfilment of the wishes of European steel producers. Apart from the already embarrassing ignorance of its own rules and deliberate lies to undesirable market participants.

Desperation at EU mills must be enormous 

The most recent examples are the two anti-circumvention cases against cold-rolled Indonesian stainless steel. This shows again how panicked and desperate EU mills must be and how the EC bureaucrats want to or can understand about it – they just have to sell it. Because instead of opening a case against hot-rolled stainless steel, they immediately went for the bigger number.

Since CBAM is obviously likely to be a failure due to the simple use of green energy, something new had to be found. Mistakes? The EC doesn’t make them. Even if you poke them in the nose. The result is twisted to suit EUROFER and its sponsors.

EC: “Just buy somewhere else…” 

The rest is left to the European Court of Justice, knowing that lawsuits (e.g. against illegal agreements on the EU stainless steel alloy surcharges) can drag on for years, if not decades. And the court, like the EC, likes to retreat to the point: “Just buy somewhere else” in order to get the case off the table.

What was that about the principle of equal treatment?  

Those who still believe in the principle of equal treatment in constitutions should urgently wake up. The EU is a constitution-free area. It is well known how laws are made in the EU. They are just looking for a way to implement something without appearing obviously corrupt. Law and justice are no longer the issue.

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