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Deliveries of cold-rolled steel to US are not strategic for Russia — steelmaker

March 02, 2016, 20:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Commerce imposed preliminary duties on imports of cold-rolled steel from seven countries, including Russia

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. The deliveries of cold-rolled steel to the US are not strategic for Russia, a representative with the press service of Russian steelmaker NLMK (Novolipetsk Steel Works and its subsidiaries) told TASS on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Commerce imposed preliminary duties on imports of cold-rolled steel, used to make auto parts, appliances and shipping containers, from seven countries, including Russia.

The US authorities set the duty for products by Russian company Severstal at 12.62% and for NLMK at 16.89%. For all other Russian producers and exporters of cold-rolled steel from Russia the duty was set at 14.76%. The duties will be valid until the end of the anti-dumping investigation which was initiated in response to the petition of American steel companies, accusing competitors from seven countries of dumping.

A source with the industry told TASS that in March-April, experts of US Department of Commerce will come to Russia with verification visit as part of the investigation.

On Wednesday, a representative of Severstal told TASS that the company strongly disagrees with the calculation of duties.

"We do not agree with the calculation of duties. Severstal supplies its products in full compliance with international trade rules. It should be noted that these are preliminary steps, we continue to participate in the investigation. We hope that the final decision will be based on objective data," - the representative said.

The representative of Severstal did not specify the total volume of cold-rolled steel supplied to the US market. But a source close to the company told TASS that the volume supplied by Severstal to the US in 2015 was about 40,000 tonnes.

The press-service of NLMK did not comment on the US decision to impose provisional duties on cold rolled steel exports.

"First it is necessary to get acquainted with their arguments. At the same time, we should note that the US market of cold-rolled steel is not strategic for exports of NLMK from Russia, and potentially NLMK USA enterprises (the group’s enterprises in the US) may benefit from the restrictions, if the introduction of duties leads to reduction of imports from other countries into the market," - the representative with NLMK press service told TASS.

NLMK USA includes several plants producing steel, commercial metal products, in particular about 0.5 million tonnes of cold-rolled steel.

At the end of 2014, imports of cold-rolled steel from Russia to the US amounted to 81,000 tonnes or $54.6 million, while imports from China reached 792,000 tonnes or $514 million.

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