Questions have been raised by the European electrical transformer industry regarding the recent imposition of provisional anti-dumping measures on EU imports of Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel (GOES).

It is argued that the measures risk short supply in both volume and quality ranges, will have a negative effect on prices, risk job losses and create a negative effect on the EU’s EcoDesign regulation.

According to EUROFER, ‘some are stressing that any benefit of duties for EU GOES producers is outweighed by the loss of cost competitiveness suffered by increased GOES prices to be paid by the EU electrical transformer industry’.

There were many reasons behind the decision to impose provisional anti-dumping measures. First, dumping margins were substantial – up to 60% – and many exporters were selling below their cost of production. Furthermore, persistent dumping has supressed EU domestic GOES prices below the cost of production, causing EU producers to suffer annual losses of over 20%.

All areas of the market, including high grades, have been affected by dumping. Producers in Japan and the USA are selling high-grade material on the EU market at dumping margins above 50%. Prices well below the cost of production depress prices for all grades and deprive the European industry of any remedy against ‘severe injurious dumping’, claims EUROFER.

EUROFER argues that duties pushing import prices to a level covering the cost of production and a reasonable profit won’t harm the European transformer industry. It is estimated that a 30% increase in the EU GOES price might increase the cost of a transformer by 3%.

Most transformer producers who co-operated with the European Commission’s investigation were profitable, said EUROFER.

Lastly, because provisional duties are below the dumping margin (the difference between the domestic price and the lower export price) EU market prices remain below the prices of GOES in other major transformer-producing nations.

EUROFER believes it is imperative that appropriate anti-dumping measures remain in place, arguing that the market would be vulnerable to dumping without them. Furthermore, the EU transformer industry would lose its international competitiveness if GOES dumping was not addressed.

“This would, in turn, jeopardise the sustainable attainment of the development of the EU’s EcoDesign Regulation,” claims EUROFER, explaining how EU transformer producers would be dependent upon the availability of the most efficient GOES grades from a handful of producers whose domestic transformer industries would have priority supply. “This is similar to the vulnerable position India finds itself in,” EUROFER concluded.