London — Egypt will today impose provisional safeguards of 15pc on semi-finished steel and 25pc on rebar imports, it said in a notification to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) seen by Argus.
The country launched a safeguard probe at the end of March.
The proposed measure will apply for 180 days and is designed to remedy the increase in imports arising from trade measures elsewhere – most notably in the US and EU. Egyptian mills’ market share declined by 6pc over the first half of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017, and by 10pc over the second half of 2018 compared to the first six months of 2017.
A 16pc rise in Egyptian steel production over the second half of last year led to an accumulation of stocks given the rise in imported material, and resulted in higher losses for domestic mills, according to the WTO notification.
There is a risk domestic producers may need to cease production unless the safeguard is imposed, the filing said.
Egypt imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on rebar imports from China, Ukraine and Turkey in December 2017. But it has seen billet imports rise as a result as Turkish mills, in particular, have ramped up billet sales.
Egypt last month imposed a regulation making it mandatory for billet importers to have a manufacturing licence, but traders operating on behalf of re-rollers can still get licences. Re-rollers have cashed in on competitively priced imported billet at the expense of local mills that have their own melting capacity, which, despite existing import measures, have struggled with weak demand.