FOCUS: Section 232 fallout in Asian steel, scrap markets persists

As the United States’ Section 232 tariffs on steel imports enter the second half of their second year, ferrous markets across the globe are still reeling from their effects.

The tariffs - imposed after a year-long Section 232 investigation into whether imports of steel, as well as aluminium, posed a national security risk to the US - were vaunted as policies to safeguard the country’s domestic industry and boost demand. But they have hardly achieved the desired result. Steel demand in the US remains lackluster. Falling steel prices have led U.S. Steel, the country’s second-largest steelmaker, to announce suspension plans for its two blast furnaces in the US and one in Europe and lay off employees at its Great Lakes, Michigan plant. Meanwhile, mini-mill operator Bayou Steel Group has filed for bankruptcy and plans to wind down operations with a liquidation or sale, while USS-Posco Industries (UPI) plans to suspend some of its operations for an unspecified period between November and May. Interdependent scrap markets In Asia, the effects of Section 232 tariffs have been felt especially strongly in the scrap market, due...

Published

Paul Lim

October 14, 2019

08:55 GMT

Singapore