PARIS Feb 19 Shares in seamless steel tube
makers Tenaris and Vallourec tumbled on
Wednesday after U.S. trade authorities decided not to impose
tariffs on the South Korean imports that compete with their
The U.S. Commerce Department launched last July an
investigation in response to a petition from the two European
companies and others including Northwest Pipe Company.
The group complained that manufacturers in South Korea, India
and seven other countries were selling the kind of steel pipe
mainly used by oil and natural gas producers at unfairly low
prices in the United States.
In a preliminary decision dated Feb. 18, the Department of
Commerce said it had found dumping of imports from India, the
Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and
Vietnam, but not from South Korea's Hyundai Hysco
and Nexteel Co.
France's Vallourec, which made 29 percent of its sales in
North America in 2012, is a big manufacturer of pipes in the
United States, having built a $650 million plant in Ohio to bank
on the U.S. shale gas boom. It had joined the case against
Asian-based manufacturers. Tenaris owns U.S. manufacturer
Maverick Tube Corporation.
A spokeswoman for Vallourec noted that the decision was a
preliminary one and added "a counter investigation is expected
to be launched."
Tenaris and Vallourec stocks were down 5.7 percent and 4.9
percent respectively on Wednesday, making them the biggest
losers on Europe's broad STOXX 600 as traders cited the U.S.
anti-dumping ruling hitting the sector.
"There was expectation that South Korea would be included,
which would have been good news," a Paris-based trader says.
U.S. producers were asking for anti-dumping duties as high
as 240 percent on India, 158 percent on South Korea, 118 percent
on Thailand and 111 percent on Vietnam to offset what they said
was below market pricing, and lesser but still hefty duties on
the other countries.
Imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from the nine
countries totaled nearly $1.8 billion in 2012, more than double
their total in 2010, as rising U.S. oil and natural gas
production have increased demand for the pipe.
(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Raoul Sachs;
Editing by Andrew Callus)