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UAE steel producers seek hike in anti-dumping duty

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on January 20, 2020
UAE steel producers seek hike in anti-dumping duty
SAFEGUARD: The UAE hiked duties on steel rebar and wire rod to 10 per cent in January 2019 to protect local industry.

The UAE is second largest country in the region in terms of installed steel capacity after Saudi Arabia.

Steel manufacturers in the UAE have called for increasing anti-dumping duty in order to safeguard local industry, according to a senior official of a leading steel manufacturer.

"It is an industry perspective to hike anti-dumping duty as more rebar and pipe producers are requesting for support from the ministry. It is a very clear mandate that there should be enough capacity to ask for this type of demand. And we have enough pipe-making and rebar-making capacity. That will allow us to survive for few years," said Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares.

The UAE hiked duties on steel rebar and wire rod from five per cent to 10 per cent in January 2019 as part of anti-dumping measures to protect local industry.

"Anti-dumping duty cannot be imposed in one country so it has to come on a GCC level. There are a lot of jurisdictions in the region so decision will take time and not come overnight. I think we are not unreasonable in requesting hike in anti-dumping duty," Bhatia told Khaleej Times in an interview on Monday.

Currently, the UAE is second largest country in the region in terms of installed steel capacity after Saudi Arabia.
Conares CEO hinted that the duty can be hiked up to 15 per cent in order to safeguard the domestic steel industry.

Bhatia was speaking during an agreement signing ceremony with Etihad Credit Insurance. Under the agreement, ECI will provide insurance coverage to Dubai-based steel manufacturer's exports and help tap new markets.

Conares' major markets are US, Canada, Australia, Europe and Singapore. It is looking at tapping some more markets in Africa.

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), said the government agency sees need for growth of UAE manufacturers because markets are very competitive locally and globally.

"Even steel industry is very competitive. The market grew 5 to 15 per cent in the last 5-6 years not only because of support provided by Conares but also because of foreign demand of steel and its elements manufactured in the UAE. So we want to support Conares' future expansion," Falcioni added.

The government-backed ECI will also offer its database of 360 million companies to Dubai-based steel manufacturer to help identify potential customers. "We will assess each single buyer. The more transparency buyers are, the more we will provide credit limit," he added.

Bharat Bhatia said if a customer is late in letter of credit (LC) opening, he cannot wait his plant not to produce. "But if I have insurance, I don't have to wait for LC opening. I can get the orders signed and start production and ship it. This will reduce my wait time and maximise my facility's output. That is one of the biggest achievements that we can reduce the wait time, deliver faster and get more contracts."

He said: "We cannot expect banks to double our line. But if we don't get financial support, we cannot run and utilise our facility. ECI will help us to open that type of risks as we always sell against LC or cash."
- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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