Leading Russian steel producers have called on the Russian government to restrict steel imports from China by imposing an anti-dumping duty on the imports of cold-rolled steel with organic coating.

Among the initiators of the proposal are Severstal, Novolipetsk Metallurgical Combine (NMC) and the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine. According to them, there is a need to stop the practice of unfair trade, which, they claim, is being used by Chinese exporters to Russia and which results in the financial losses to domestic steel producers.

According to the proposal, the fee should be set at 17.6%, which is the difference between the domestic price for steel sold within China and that which is supplied to Russia.

The production of rolled steel in China is 10 times higher than in Russia, which has already resulted in the overstocking of the Chinese market and forced Chinese manufacturers to start expansion of new markets, in particular, Russia.

In the meantime, the current volume of the Russian market of organic coated rolled steel is 1.3Mt/y of which about half is supplied from China.

In May this year, Chinese imports had reached a three-year high of 66703t, which is 39.5% higher compared to the same period in 2010. Because of this, Russian companies were forced to significantly increase their inventory of unsold stock.

According to an official representative of NMC, at present all the Russian steelmakers, which produce strip with organic coating are concerned over Chinese dumping, due to the fact that the majority of them made huge investments in modernising production of this product, but are currently unable to offset these costs, because of the ever growing imports from China.

According to Russian media reports, the companies have already sent their proposal to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Most Russian analysts believe that the new proposal may find support in the Russian government, taking into account recent statements by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who recently did not rule out the possibility of implementing anti-dumping measures against ‘third countries’.

Already, import quotas have been set for Ukrainian pipe imports which if exceeded will be 18.9% for casing pipes, 19.9% for oil well tubing, and 37.8% for distribution pipes (except Interpipe which has negotiated 19.4% duty and a quota for all pipe grades of 300kt in 2011 – up from 260kt in 2010) to be levied for a period of five years. Indeed, these