Egypt has implemented provisional safeguard measures on imports of semi-finished products, wire rod and bar used for construction purposes under HS code headings 7207, 7213 and 7214.
The measures, effective 15 April, amount to a tariff of up to 15% of the cif value of billet imports and a tariff of up to 25% of the value of bar and wire rod imports. The measures will be applied for 180 days.
“The investigating authority has preliminary determined that there have been sudden, recent, significant and sharp increases in imports of the concerned products in both absolute terms and relative to the domestic production,” the Egyptian WTO delegation says in a note seen by Kallanish.
The trade remedies sector of Egypt’s trade and industry ministry attributes the tariff imposition to continued global steel overcapacity, despite efforts to reduce it. This has been exacerbated by trade-restrictive practices in third country markets. “Several countries have begun to make greater use of trade policy and trade defence instruments in the steel sector with a view to protecting their domestic producers,” the note observes. This has “…created an imminent risk of diversion of steel imports into Egypt.”
“A continued increase in imports would further impair the performance of the domestic industry, which is already in a fragile position,” the note continues. “In some cases, there is a risk that producers may be forced to cease production.”
Taking the first half of 2017 as the index base, Egypt’s investigation found that imports of the subject products grew 31% in the second half of 2018 to 908,733 tonnes. They increased in relative terms to domestic production by 17%. Domestic sales declined -2% after rising 12% in H1 2018. The domestic industry’s market share fell -10% in H2 2018 after declining -6% in H1 2018. Capacity utilisation rose 16% in each period. Inventory surged 402% in H2 2018 after falling -12% in H1.
Imports from developing country members will not be subject to the provisional safeguard measure as long as each member's exports individually do not exceed 3% of total imports into Egypt, the note says. However, it does not specify the countries included in this category.