HomeGAA in the MediaPress ReleasesNewsArchiveAppeal of zero dumping margin for Russian ferrosilicon surprises US market

 

Platts
September 8, 2014
By Antony Poole

Appeal of zero dumping margin for Russian ferrosilicon surprises US market 

US ferroalloys market participants have expressed surprise at a decision by domestic ferrosilicon producers Globe Specialty Metals and CC Metals and Alloys to file an appeal challenging July's negative final dumping determination by the Department of Commerce on ferrosilicon imports from Russia.

On August 29, the two companies filed an appeal with the US Court of International Trade in New York. The appeal is against the US government as defendants and Globe and CC Metals and Alloys as plaintiffs.

"They just don't give up, do they?" said one trader. "It's not like they're not making money at current ferrosilicon prices. Given they've already stated they'd rather be making silicon, I don't understand it."

The trader was making reference to comments made by Globe CEO Jeff Bradley on August 26 that the company was considering switching a furnace from producing standard-grade ferrosilicon to silicon metal because of higher margins in silicon.

According to court documents, just a summons and related documents were filed August 29, although full details of what is being challenged have yet to be filed, according to a source familiar with the matter. Details of the challenge against the DOC determination will not be filed until September 26, the source added.

"I guess, until we see exactly what it is that's being challenged, there's not much to say on it. But I'm surprised they're still pursuing it," another trader said.

A supplier source said: "They [the domestic industry] have 30 days from the August 29 filing to decide if they want to go through with the appeal or not. It gives them another 30 days to prop up the price of ferrosilicon."

The Department of Commerce made its final determination in the case July 25, which confirmed a preliminary determination made in March giving ferrosilicon imports from Russia a zero dumping margin.

The investigation was triggered in July 2013 when Globe and CC Metals and Alloys, together with the United Steelworkers and the United Autoworkers unions, filed a petition alleging the dumping of ferrosilicon in the US market by Russian and Venezuelan producers.

Also on July 25, Commerce issued a final determination on ferrosilicon imports from Venezuela, giving it a 22.64% dumping margin, which was down from the preliminary determination in March giving Venezuela a dumping margin of 27.27%.

However, on August 26, the US International Trade Commission found the US domestic industry had not been injured by imports of ferrosilicon from Venezuela, thereby bringing the investigation to a close.

It is not known whether the domestic ferrosilicon industry plans to challenge the findings of the ITC on ferrosilicon imports from Venezuela.

Russia was by far the largest supplier of ferrosilicon to the US market compared with Venezuela. In 2013, the US imported 85,400 mt of ferrosilicon from Russia, valued at $117.47 million, down from 112,400 mt in 2012, the year before the petition was filed. The 2012 imports from Russia were valued at $153.4 million. In 2011, the US imported 85,100 mt of ferrosilicon from Russia, worth $134.3 million.

In 2013, the US imported 31,300 mt of ferrosilicon from Venezuela, valued at $43.26 million, and 28,100 mt in 2012, valued at $39.47 million. In 2011, the US imported 21,100 mt, valued at $32.48 million.

Reaction to Commerce's negative determination for Russian ferrosilicon met with a mixed response from the market at the time.

"I really didn't think the Russians would come out of it without some margin, so I guess that means the price of ferrosilicon isn't going up any time soon," one trader said.

"I'm surprised, but I guess we can get on with our lives now," said another trader.

But a third trader said he was not surprised at the final outcome because he believed the staff at Russian ferroalloys producer RFA had previous experience in fighting antidumping cases.

"They knew how to defend it, so I'm not surprised they succeeded," he said.

 Another ferroalloys supplier said: "It's not a real surprise they [Commerce] did not change their [preliminary] ruling."