The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced that it is investigating claims that Mexico’s Deacero S.A.P.I. de C.V. (Deacero) is shipping narrow gauge wire rod to the U.S. to circumvent an existing antidumping duty (AD) order on carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod.
Per a report in the Federal Register, on Oct. 27, 2017, Nucor claimed that Deaceri was shipping wire rod less than 4.45 mm in diameter to avoid existing orders. “After analyzing the information in the Circumvention Allegation and Supplemental Circumvention Allegation, we determine that Nucor has satisfied the criteria listed above to warrant an initiation of a formal anti-circumvention inquiry,” it said. In 2012 ruling, the Department found that wire rod (4.75 mm to 5.00 mm) produced in Mexico and exported to the U.S. by Deacero did circumventing an existing AD order on wire rod from Mexico.
In another report, Nucor was cited as saying that that Deacero was “engaging in gamesmanship, altering its wire rod in minor respects by further reducing the diameter of its wire rod by a mere 0.35 mm solely to circumvent the (AD) Order.” Nucor further asserts that Commerce should “find that all wire rod regardless of minimum diameter that otherwise satisfies the scope definition of wire rod and produced by Deacero is . . . subject to the Order.”
Brazil’s Gerdau S.A. has agreed to sell Optimus Steel LLC its wire rod mill in Texas, and two downstream facilities, for $92.50 million.
A press release said that the deal will include Gerdau’s wire rod mill in Beaumont. The mill has a melt shop capacity of approximately 700,000 tons, and is capable of producing both wire rod and coiled rebar. The sale also includes two downstream facilities: Beaumont Wire Products and Carrollton Wire Products. Beaumont Wire Products. The former was described as a wire mesh mill and the latter as a supplier of industrial wire into the greater U.S. southern region.
The news follow a previous announcement by Gerdau of the sale of four rebar mills and nearly three dozen downstream facilities to Commercial Metals Company for US$600 million. Once the two separate deals close, Gerdau, which was part of a recent trade case seeking to limit the in-flow of low-cost imported wire rod, will be out of that sector.
Gerdau Chief Executive Gustavo Werneck said that the company will “focus on more value-added products.” It will continue to have a considerable presence in North America, with 18 facilities, 15 in the U.S. and three in Canada that produce merchant steel, structural steel and some rebar.
A DoC press release said exporters from South Africa and Ukraine sold wire rod in the U.S. at 135.46 to 142.26%, and 34.98 to 44.03% less than fair value, respectively. As a result, DoC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of wire rod from South Africa, and Ukraine based on these final rates.
In 2016, imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from South Africa and Ukraine were valued at an estimated $7.1 million and $55 million, respectively. In 2016, exports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Ukraine to the United States more than doubled in physical terms compared to 2015, to 146,470 tonnes and grew by 70.9% in monetary terms, to $55.02 million. Shipments from South Africa, on the contrary, more than halved in physical terms, to 20,000 metric tons and decreased by 58.3% in monetary terms, to $7.05 million.
The petitioners in the case were Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc. (FL), Nucor Corporation (NC), Keystone Consolidated Industries (TX), and Charter Steel (WI).
If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, DoC will issue AD orders. If the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.
"While the United States values its relationship with South Africa and Ukraine even our closest friends must play by the rules," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
A press release said that some inventory highlights include: three Davis Standard CCV lines; four Davis Standard extrusion lines, three Bartell BX-armoring lines, two planetary cablers, two rigid stranders, a Haefely Trench 1000 KVA Hi Voltage tester and a 13-die Bekaert rod breakdown line. An assortment of test equipment, payoffs, take-ups, curing ovens, rewind lines and reels is also available.
A report at spanacom.com said that ACINOX signed an agreed with Russia’s YUMZ signed the contract to modernize a wire rod manufacturing plant at the 35th International Fair of Havana, (FIHAV 2017). The deal calls for the supply of a complete wire rolling line, including the furnace, as well as machinery to produce the wire rod at a plant in the eastern Cuban province of Las Tunas.
The story cited ACINOX Director Enrique Pazos as telling the state Cuban News Agency that the investment will allow up to 177,000 tons annual production once the project starts operating at the beginning of 2020. YUMZ will subcontract a "highly qualified and experienced Italian entity," which will supply 60% of the equipment required for the investment, he said. The Russian company will also participate in the process of commissioning the updated line and will be responsible for the training of Cuban personnel will work in the production.
The story said that Russia was one of the 63 countries that attended FIHAV. Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Georgy Kalamanov, who heads the delegation of his country to the Cuban Fair, said that there are other projects are also planned to expand collaboration in the chemical industry, to modernize the light steel industry, and areas of maritime transport and agriculture. Russia was described as the fourth most active partner of Cuba, behind China, Venezuela and Spain. Of note, it said that, "In addition to strengthening cooperation economic-three years ago, Russia canceled 90% of the debt incurred by the island...as both countries support each other in the political arena."