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EU confirms safeguard measures for another year

The European Commission (EC) issued a statement to the WTO at the end of last week confirming its decision to extend steel safeguard measures until the end of June 2024, Kallanish notes.

A review of the measures was initiated at the end of 2022.

After careful consideration, the EC noted the safeguard measures continue to be justified, for example by the existence of Section 232 in the US. It added that the gloomy outlook for the European steel sector did not justify a termination of the measures.

From July, the level of available tariff-free quotas for importers will increase a further 4%, continuing the original liberalisation rate of the safeguard measures of 4%.

As a result of the review, the EC also confirms Malaysia will be assigned in July 2023-June 2024 a specific country rate quota for imports of hot rolled coil. The probe also reviewed the list of developing countries to which safeguards measures apply; all developed countries will now be subject to measures related to imports of hot-dip galvanized coil for automotive use (group 4b), as well as organic coated sheet (group 5) and large welded tube (group 25b).

A source at a major southern European service centre says the decision is not set to alter the European market. The usage of safeguard quotas has been relatively minor in recent quarters. In recent months, service centres and steel users have called for the European Commission to terminate the safeguard measures at the end of June.