UK Keeping Rebar ADD Is Not In Economic Interest

It is not in the interests of the UK economy to maintain anti-dumping duties (ADD) on high-fatigue rebar from China, according to the China Iron & Steel Association (Cisa).
In a filing to the Trade Remedies Authority’s transition review of the measures, Cisa said keeping the duties — which lapsed in the EU last year with little fanfare — would damage the purchasing power of UK consumers and jeopardise the competitiveness of downstream companies that fabricate rebar.
This is a predictable stance from Cisa, but it has some merit — the major UK producer of rebar, Celsa, owns about half of the downstream fabrication capacity and has only limited competition domestically. Liberty Steel produces some rebar at its Thrybergh mill in Yorkshire, but in limited quantities and sizes.
Celsa and Liberty already have the protection of safeguard measures, and there is not that much Cares-approved capacity available from third countries given a strong pipeline of work in coming years. Large infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail two, will increase rebar requirements in the UK.
After Cares did not amend its sustainability criteria, which would have further limited imports from important overseas sources, such as Turkey, Celsa worked with the British Board of Agrement to launch a competing certification scheme. Cares so far is the only certified producer under this scheme.
The independent fabricators not owned by Celsa want access to sufficient imported tonnage to ensure they can compete with their mill-owned counterparts.
“It is crucial for [independent fabricators] to rely on a diversified and price-competitive supply of rebar products,” Cisa said in its filing.
“There are more jobs in the downstream industries than in the rebar production industry, which demonstrated the potential impact on employment arising out of the imposition of measures following the transition review”.
Cisa also referred to the negligible imports of Chinese rebar into the UK since 2017. While this is indeed the case, it was a large source before the imposition of European duties; in fact, most of the rebar that China shipped into Europe ended up in the UK market, to the extent that at one point it had about half of the market share, equating to the share of fabrication capacity not owned by Celsa.
The UK Trade Remedies Authority is expected to publish its statement of essential facts on 7 April.