A pending European Commission decision on ‘Minimum Import Prices’ (MIPs) for Grain Oriented Electrical Steel (GOES) would safeguard a vital strategic sub-sector of the steel industry and preserve the competitiveness of the European electrical transformer business, according to EUROFER, the European Steel Association.

Axel Eggert, EUROFER’s director-general, said that the European Commission found evidence of severe dumping of GOES on the EU market, resulting in significant losses for EU producers, and undermining the EU’s GOES-transformer value chain. “Given the seriousness of the dumping – up to 40% below the cost of production – proportionate and definitive measures are necessary to enforce the EU’s trade defence rules,” said Eggert.

Transformer companies who relied on sourcing dumped products at the expense of the value chain are those that continue to oppose the imposition of appropriate and balanced measures, claims EUROFER.

The European Commission has calculated a MIP price of around €2050 per tonne for this product group. Given that the price of premium-grade electrical steel is now above the €2300 per tonne it was in July 2010, it is clear that the proposed MIP measures would still permit duty-free access to foreign-produced GOES. This would mitigate fears of shortages for the transformer sector.

“The European steel industry holds that the Commission’s final proposal is a fair compromise that reasonably balances producer and user interests,” concluded Mr Eggert.