Anti-dumping duties close U.S. steel market

  • 2001-06-21
  • BNS
RIGA - The U.S. Trade Department has decided to leave in place a 17 percent anti-dumping duty on steel reinforcement imports from Latvia, a Liepajas Metalurgs official said.

"We can regard the U.S. market as lost," company President Kirovs Lipmans told BNS.

Lipmans said he had not yet received the official documents about the decision and was unable to make specific comments.

He said the company may appeal the ruling.

Lipmans said that the company has found other markets to offset the losses to the United States but added that prices were significantly lower.

Liepajas Metalurgs is currently selling in 17 countries. About one-fifth of its output, 100,000 tons, is exported to European countries.

The company halted exports of steel reinforcement bars to the United States, which accounted for 50 percent of sales, last summer.

U.S. companies requested additional duties be imposed, arguing steel reinforcement imports have surged considerably over the past few years and have pulled down prices.

In 1999 imports accounted for 24 percent of the market.

An investigation was launched last summer of 12 countries, including Latvia, Belarus, China, Indonesia, Korea, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine.

Investigations were later closed on a handful of countries, including Japan, Russia and Austria.

Liepajas Metalurgs has set this year's profit target at 38,000 lats ($60,000), which is significantly lower than in the previous years. The net sales target for this year is set at 72.98 million lats, an increase over last year. Liepajas Metalurgs posted a profit last year of 1.7 million lats on net sales of 65.9 million lats.