LONDON: Egypt is considering imposing anti-dumping duty on Turkish steel imports, a government source said this week, to protect a domestic industry struggling with weaker demand due to political and social unrest.
As well as the duty on Turkish imports, Egyptian steelmakers want all foreign steelmakers to pay import duties. A temporary import tax on steel, brought in last December, expired in June.
“We haven’t decided yet to open a case but we are studying that,” the source said on Thursday, referring to the possibility of introducing anti-dumping duty on Turkish steel.
To adjust to lower demand steel mills in Egypt, North Africa’s largest steel producer, have cut production. July output, at 500,000 tonnes, was down 8.1 percent from the same month last year and 12.6 percent lower than in July 2011, data from the World Steel Association showed. Imports from Turkey were more than 30,000 tonnes in July this year, data from the International Bureau of Steel Statistics showed.
“They are thinking of putting anti-dumping duty on Turkish steel. We say that’s okay, but we want import fees for all foreign steel, particularly the Chinese,” said Mohamed Hanafy, executive manager of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries in the Federation of Egyptian Industries.
“We see a Chinese steel invasion and we want protection.”
Hanafy said while domestic steel rebar, used to reinforce buildings, was on offer for about $640 a tonne, Turkish rebar was available in Egypt at $600 and Chinese steel as low as $520.
“In the long run, a duty should be beneficial for the country but on the other hand it causes a price increase for consumers, but they usually adjust to that,” said Metwally Abu-Hamd, professor of steel structures at Cairo University and chairman of the Egyptian Society of Steel Structures.
Poor security in the country since the army forced the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi from the presidency in July, has slowed construction of infrastructure and buildings, where most steel demand comes from.