Liepajas Metalurgs halts steel reinforcement exports to Canada

  • 2001-02-15
  • BNS
RIGA - Liepajas Metalurgs has halted exporting its products to Canada due to a 25 percent duty imposed there, company President Kirovs Lipmans said.

Lipmans said the company had halted steel reinforcement exports to Canada since the beginning of the year. Last year Liepajas Metalurgs exported 15 percent of its steel reinforcement output to Canada.

Canada decided to impose duty on steel reinforcement imports from Latvia, arguing Latvian exporters have sold their products in Canada at a dumping price.

Canada launched an anti-dumping investigation into reinforcement imports from Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Taiwan and the Ukraine last November as Canadian ferrous metal producers Stelco and Dofasco saw their income declining due to cheap imports.

Lipmans said the company will hold consultations with lawyers concerning the next step.

Liepajas Metalurgs last summer halted steel reinforcement exports to the United States as well after seven American companies had turned to the U.S. Trade Department and the International Trade Commission proposing to impose anti-dumping duties on steel reinforcement imports from several countries, including Latvia. Among the accused companies Liepajas Metalurgs was the second biggest steel reinforcement exporter to the United States.

The U.S. Trade Department has ruled the imported steel reinforcement is sold for dumping prices and has proposed to impose a hefty additional duty on it.

The specific amount of the additional duty for each importer country will be determined by the U.S. International Trade Commission by May. The additional duties could be imposed retroactively for a 90-day period before Jan. 17 when the department made the decision.

Lipmans said his company currently has difficulties with markets to sell steel reinforcement. He said the company presently is exporting its products to European countries, Africa, a few Arab countries and South America.

He said the situation is complicated because Liepajas Metalurgs exports to the U.S. accounted for 50 percent and Canada 15 percent of the companyÕs total output.

Liepajas MetalurgsÕ preliminary profit for the last year is 1.5 million lats ($2.45 million). Its turnover target last year was 48 million lats. The companyÕs shares are quoted on the second list of the Riga Stock Exchange.