Local steel pipe makers suffer amid probe in US

Local steel pipe makers suffer amid probe in US

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Local steel pipe makers suffer amid probe in US

The US imported 3.25 tons of steel pipe in 2012 and Turkey was account for 4 percent of it, a sector player has said. REUTERS photo

An investigation executed by the United States seeking to impose anti-dumping duties on steel pipes imported from Turkey, along with eight other countries, is already damaging Turkish steel pipe makers’ business, a sector representative has said.

“The importer companies are hesitating to buy goods in case the investigation [kicked off by the U.S. against imported steel pipes] will end positively and this causes market losses for us,” the General Secretary of Association of Steel Piper Manufacturers (ÇEBİD), Mehmet Zeren said in a written statement.

A group of steel pipe makers in the United States has urged the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate what they say is a flood of unfairly traded products from several countries, mainly in Asia.

The petition, filed late on July 2, on behalf of companies including U.S. Steel Corp, asked the commission to consider anti-dumping duties on imports of certain steel pipe products used in the oil and gas industry.

Within 20 days following the application, the U.S. Department of Commerce will decide whether to kick off an investigation or not and within 45 days the preliminary findings of the inquiry executed by the Commission will be announced.

Along with Turkey, the petition cited imports from India, South Korea, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam.

The recent years’ speeded up attempts to boost usage of unconventional energy resources in the U.S. skyrocketed the demand for steel pipes, which are used for oil carriage and drilling.

The country’s oil and drilling pipe, also called “oil country tubular goods” (OCTG), imports have more than doubled in seven years by rising from 1.5 million tons in 2005 to 3.25 tons in 2012, according to figures provided by Zeren in the statement.

Turkey’s share from the steel pipe imports of the U.S., which worries and irks domestic producers, is 4 percent, he said.

Turkish steel pipe industry ranks top in the European welded pipe sector and fifth among the world. Last year, the sector exported 1.83 million tons of steel pipes.

In addition to plummeting sales emerging due to buyers being afraid of the outcome of the investigation, the case brings a huge burden in expenses for the alleged companies.

“Throughout the case process, employees of the sector firms spend almost half their day preparing the necessary documents and companies are loaded up with millions of dollars worth of attorney expenses they hire for the investigation,” Zeren said.

The sector expects Turkey to be left out of the inquiry, he said, citing the absence of sales with dumping from Turkey to the U.S. and Turkey’s share among U.S. imports being fairly low compared to other alleged countries.

In addition to the anti-dumping investigation, the petitioners requested countervailing duties on pipes from India and Turkey.

Zeren called the duty investigation “non-understandable, considering Turkish steel pipe makers don’t benefit from any government subsidy.”