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US manufacturers of stainless steel bar products hike prices
US manufacturers of stainless steel bar products hike prices

14 July 2022 – First US manufacturers of stainless steel bar products are passing on increased costs to buyers and have raised prices by 9% to 12%. Will other steel bar producers follow? EU demand surge could make empty warehouses even emptier. And US initiates anti-circumvention against Chinese aluminium products from Thailand and South Korea.

US stainless steel bar producers raise prices

The first US producers of stainless steel bar products have announced immediate price increases of 9 to 12 %. This is due to increased costs for raw materials and energy, which would now be passed on to the customers of the US stainless steel producers. This announcement could be the prelude to further price increases for steel bars in the United States.

EU demand surge could make empty stocks even emptier

London Metal Exchange inventories continue to empty, suggesting a continuing shortage in the base metals business. This could, and we wrote about this in mid-June, soon lead to similar situations in the steel, stainless steel and aluminium business as in 2021 and early 2022.

Will everyone have to restock at the same time?

Industry experts assume that many market participants will have a simultaneous need to restock in the coming weeks due to rising demand.

Demand recovery in Italy

The first signs of this are already being reported from Italy and other EU countries, where demand and also prices for HRC, for example, are already rising again.

China Aluminium: US initiates anti-circumvention investigation

The US Department of Commerce has initiated on its own initiative nationwide anti-circumvention investigations involving imports of aluminium foil from China that is finished or refined in Thailand and South Korea. These imports are alleged to be improperly circumventing the payment of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of aluminium foil from China pursuant to unfair trade orders.

Anti-dumping and countervailing duties up to 176%

In April 2018, the Department of Commerce published anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) on certain aluminium foil imports from China following a complaint filed by the US Aluminum Association’s Trade Enforcement Working Group. The final combined dumping and subsidy rates ranged from 55% to 176%. Since the publication of these orders, US imports of certain aluminium foil from China have decreased significantly.

Thailand and South Korea under Circumvention Suspicion

However, Chinese exports of foil and sheet products to Thailand and South Korea have increased significantly, and US imports of aluminium foil from these countries made from Chinese metal have also increased significantly, as Chinese producers have sought to circumvent the AD/CVD duties on foil exported directly from China to the US.

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