US Imposes Duties On $269M Of Steel Products From China
-The Obama administration on Tuesday slapped preliminary duties on $269 million of steel products imported from China.
The countervailing duties ranging from 7.44% to 12.06% will affect imports of steel grating and prestressed concrete steel wire strand that five U.S. firms complained is being dumped into U.S. markets.
The Commerce Department determined that Chinese firms sold steel grating, which is used for walkways, platforms and flooring, at 7.44% less than the normal value in the U.S. The wire strand, typically used in concrete construction applications, was sold at 7.53% to 12.05% below normal value, Commerce said.
The duties are the latest sign of trade tension between the U.S. and China, and come weeks before President Barack Obama travels to Beijing to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao. Last month, the U.S. administration slapped duties on Chinese tire imports, a decision that reflected U.S manufacturers' concerns of unfair competition but raised the spectre of a larger trade war.
The Commerce Department said U.S. firms Alabama Metal Industries Corp. and Fisher & Ludlow petitioned for the duties on the Chinese steel grating, imports of which rose 538% from 2006 to 2008 to $90.7 million.
China's Ningbo Jiulong Machinery Manufacturing Co. and all other Chinese steel grating importers were imposed a duty of 7.44%.
Saw an old friend this weekend. He runs a freight fowarding and transportation company out of North Texas. Has been around for years. Very successful.
He said it was next to impossible to get pipe, tubing, and other equipment from Okla and North Texas down to South Texas - not necessarily to the Gulf coast either. Just South Texas - east and west of Houston, a month after the hurricanes. Said the transport sector was still pretty screwed up. And heaven help getting stuff to the coast to go offshore unless you go over to La.
Said his yard in North Texas is full of pipe and tubing - but his client can't receive it - so it sits. Was supposed to be delivered three weeks ago. Drilling schedules have been delayed he has been told, not much else you can do as an operator. And he says that this is not a unique problem to his client or his operation.
And I talked with a Bloomberg energy reporter late last week - he said companies he had talked to had told him some of the gas processing plants in S Texas and La. were flooded and the electronics was really screwed up. And they were having problem getting skilled folks out to start working on the problems. So they sit, offline. Sounds like Rita and Katrina all over again. He said some of the company engineers told him onshore damage was much worse than many realize, and it will take time to fix. He had not talked to folks about the offshore facilities.
So here we sit, barrelling toward the heating season, with storage levels well below last year and year before levels for this week - with lots of GOM production still offline, and onshore facilities with some damage not yet quantified. And heating oil is 50% higher than last year, in a recession. With natural gas stocks tanking with the market.
It should be an interesting winter to say the least.
God bless the energy markets my friends. And bless all who add so much to this energy board.
India Bans Corn (and steel) Exports to Control Domestic Prices
By Thomas Kutty Abraham July 3 (Bloomberg) -- India banned corn exports and curbed shipments of steel, seeking to boost domestic supplies and cool the fastest inflation in 13 years as world commodity prices soar. Corn futures plunged by the daily limit in Mumbai after the trade ministry said it would halt overseas sales by the world's sixth-biggest supplier until Oct. 15. Tata Steel Ltd. led a plunge in steel shares after producers agreed to cut some exports. India's corn ban adds to curbs on exports of rice, wheat and cooking oil as the government seeks to tame price increases that have driven interest rates to a six-year high and stoked social unrest. The nation increased corn shipments more than sixfold in the past year as the global price doubled. ``Global corn prices are certain to look up,'' said Atul Chaturvedi, president at Adani Enterprises Ltd., India's biggest exporter of farm products, in a phone interview. ``Supplies are tight globally and Indian corn was a welcome relief for most buyers in Southeast Asia.'' Corn futures for December delivery dropped 1 percent to $7.7275 a bushel in after-hours trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, prices fell as much as 1.6 percent. Corn touched a record $7.9925 on June 27 as the worst flooding in the U.S. Midwest since 1993 damaged fields. In India, corn for July delivery fell 4 percent to 931.50 rupees per 100 kilograms on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd. Corn gained 40 percent this year before today. Shipments from India totaled a record 2.5 million tons in the year ended June 30 as feed makers in Southeast Asia sought cheaper alternatives to supplies from the U.S., the biggest exporter. Exports were 400,000 tons in the previous year.
World corn output in the crop year that begins Oct. 1 will total 775.3 million tons, down from 789.8 million estimated for this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. India's corn exports may reach 1.5 million tons in the year beginning October, the USDA said. Contracts for 500,000 tons may not be executed because of the ban, said Manish Gupta, managing director at Gujarat Ambuja Exports Ltd. ``The ban will make everyone involved in exports bleed,'' he said by telephone from Ahmedabad in western India. Record food prices have led to strikes in Argentina and sparked riots in more than 30 developing countries. The United Nations in April said higher prices for staples ranging from corn and rice to wheat and palm oil are ``threatening to plunge more than 100 million people on every continent into hunger.'' Steelmakers agreed today to cut exports of hot-rolled coils to bolster local supplies, Sajjan Jindal, Managing Director of JSW Steel Ltd., India's third-biggest producer, told reporters after a meeting with government officials. The companies, who agreed to freeze prices for three months after lowering them by 10 percent in May, may not raise prices next month, he said.