Stainless Steel Strip----US stainless bar producers evaluating potential trade case

In a press release Tuesday, the Specialty Steel Industry of North America expressed growing concern over the substantial increase in imports of stainless steel bar.

According to SSINA counsel Mr David A Hartquist, an international trade lawyer and a partner in the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren, "Imports of stainless steel bar have reached historical levels in both 2011 and 2012, with the majority of the growth concentrated from four key exporters - Italy, Taiwan, Germany, and India." 

Official US government statistics indicate that imports of stainless steel bar increased from 108,690 tons in 2010 to 146,071 tons in 2012, or by 34%.

Domestic producers have recently requested and obtained new tariff statistical breakouts for stainless steel bar. These additional statistical breakouts have enabled the producers to examine import trends among various categories of stainless steel bar, including large diameter bar, austenitic bar, and re-melted bar. These data have shown significant increases across the spectrum of stainless steel bar products.

The official US government statistics indicate that the average unit values of imports declined by 6% between January to May 2012 and January to May 2013.

Mr Hartquist indicated that "The domestic producers' concerns are not only with the increase in volume of imports, but also with recent import price declines that are having a negative impact on the market. Domestic producers are assessing the situation to determine whether the trade laws are being violated by the aforementioned countries or other significant offshore suppliers of stainless steel bar."