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Australia imposes import duties on steel pipes from certain countries

Reuters reported that Australia's Customs Service has imposed import duties on steel pipes made in China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan after finding steelmakers were dumping cheap products in the local market.

Home affairs minister Mr Jason Clare said in a statement that the new duties range from 57% for some Chinese exporters, to a low of 2.4% for Taiwan's Ta Fong Steel Co Limited.

The move followed an anti dumping complaint from Australia's second largest steelmaker OneSteel Limited, now known as Arrium Limited, on behalf of its pipe making arm Tube Mills Limited.

Customs said that Australia's steel pipe market was estimated at around 500,000 tonnes a year. China exports around 1.4 million tonnes of pipe fittings a year. Customs investigated around 100 companies which export to Australia and found they were dumping their products and undercutting prices for locally made pipes that led to prices falling 20% in 2009, rising 12% the following year, and then falling around 10% in 2011.

Australian steelmakers have been hard hit by a high Australian dollar, which has traded above parity with the US dollar for much of the past year, making imported steel cheaper for major construction projects.

Australia's largest steelmaker BlueScope Steel last week said Customs was investigating its complaint over alleged dumping of hot rolled steel coil from steelmakers in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

BlueScope estimated that allegedly dumped goods have caused material injury of about AUD 50 million and said it could take up to six months before customs makes a determination on the case.

Source - Reuters

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