July 04, 2012
Australia's Customs Service 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.
The new duties range from 57 per cent for some Chinese exporters, to a low of 2.4 per cent for Taiwan's Ta Fong Steel Co. Ltd, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move followed an anti-dumping complaint from Australia's second largest steelmaker OneSteel Ltd, now known as Arrium Ltd , on behalf of its pipe-making arm Tube Mills Ltd.
Customs said 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 per cent in 2009, rising 12 per cent the following year, and then falling around 10 per cent 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 $50 million, and said it could take up to six months before customs makes a determination on the case.