BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU governments approved limits to steel quotas on Wednesday designed to protect European manufacturers from the threat of surging imports following the effective closure of the U.S. market. A large majority of EU countries voted to back changes proposed by the European Commission, EU diplomats said. The bloc has had in place for a year as system of “safeguard” measures to control the incoming steel following Washington’s imposition of 25% steel import tariffs. Quotas for 26 grades of steel, including stainless, were set at the average level of imports in 2015-2017 plus 5%, with further 5% hikes due in July and in July 2020. Imports of steel beyond these quotas are subject to a 25% duty. The Commission has proposed that this year’s hike should be 3% effective from Oct. 1, responding to industry complaints that a weak market cannot absorb increasing imports EU steel association Eurofer estimates apparent steel consumption, which includes inventory changes, will fall by 0.6% this year and rise by 1.4% in 2020. Last year, Eurofer said, imports of finished steel products rose by 12% in a market that grew by 3.3%. The revised measures also involve limiting any one country to a… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center