(Correcting in last paragraph to show current capacity is
800,000 tonnes, not 355,000)
By Lorenzo Ligato
NEW YORK, July 22 Egypt's steel companies have
filed a petition against rebar and wire rod imports from China,
Turkey and Ukraine, one of its top steelmakers said on Tuesday,
the latest move in a years-long quest to protect the fledging
industry from low-priced imports.
Egyptian Steel and other major steelmakers have submitted a
request for the government to re-introduce anti-dumping duties
on imports of rebar and wire rod, used in the construction
industry, Ahmed Abou Hashima, chief executive of Egyptian Steel
said in an interview. The filing was made in May.
The industry moved quickly after former army chief Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi won the country's presidential vote, putting a
military man back in power after the brief hiatus of Islamist
It comes at a critical time for Egypt's steel industry,
which is still recovering from political turmoil, and for a
global market struggling with low prices and overcapacity due to
"How can (foreign) rebar and wire rod enter Egypt with zero
customs? We have very high-tech industries in Egypt, especially
in steel, but we must protect them (from foreign imports)," Abou
Hashima said. "We have to change from customers to industrials:
that's the only way a country can grow."
According to steel industry body Worldsteel, Egyptian steel
output fell at an annual rate of 8 percent in the first four
months of 2014, to 2.05 million tonnes, after rising just 1.9
percent last year amid the turmoil surrounding the overthrow of
former Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
The industry sees dumping duties as necessary after Sisi
slashed energy subsidies to factories in an effort to salvage
ruinous government finances.
"The new government has a lot of issues on hand, so we want
to make sure that the issue does not die out and remains on top
of their agenda," Abou Hashima said.
Calls for the government to re-introduce previously
short-lived dumping duties started last year after the
government dropped tariffs in June after just six months.
The petition in Egypt comes after other countries, including
the United States, successfully imposed protection duties on
imports of steel rebar.
In April this year, the U.S. Commerce Department set
preliminary duties on millions of dollars worth of imports from
Mexico and Turkey after producers alleged foreign competitors
were selling steel rebar at unfairly low prices.
Previously, Egypt's Industry Ministry confirmed that no
import duties were in place on imports from Turkey, the world's
top steel rebar exporter, but declined to comment on whether or
not the government was considering such a measure.
Egyptian Steel is planning to expand its annual capacity to
over 2 million tonnes by late 2016 from 800,000 tonnes now.
(Reporting by Lorenzo Ligato; Editing by Josephine Mason and