Ministry of Economy eliminates quota on imports of Chinese steel plate

The Ministry of Economy reported this Friday that it eliminated the definitive countervailing duty of 33.98% imposed on imports of sheet steel plate originating in China.

With this, the Ministry of Economy declared concluded the examination of the validity of the countervailing duty imposed on imports of this product, which enter through tariff items 7208.51.01, 7208.51.02, 7208.51.03, 7208.52.01, 7225.40 .01 and 7225.40.02 of the TIGIE, or by any other.

On October 14, 2014, the final resolution of the antidumping investigation on imports of sheet steel plate originating in China, regardless of the country of origin, was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF). By means of said resolution, a final compensatory fee of 33.98 percent was determined.

Ministry of Economy

On September 11, 2018, the Notice on the validity of countervailing duties was published in the DOF.

By this means, the Ministry of Economy informed the national producers and any person with a legal interest that the definitive countervailing duties imposed on the products listed in said Notice would be eliminated as of the expiration date indicated in the Notice for each one, unless a national producer expresses in writing its interest in starting an examination procedure.

Then, on September 5, 2019, Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA) expressed its interest in the Ministry of Economy initiating the examination of the validity of the final countervailing duty imposed on imports of sheet steel plate originating in China.

The product under examination is plate or sheet steel, alloyed and unalloyed. The main physical characteristics that describe this merchandise are the thickness equal to or greater than 4.75 mm (0.187 inches) and the width equal to or greater than 600 mm (23.6 inches), as well as the length up to 12, 192 mm (480 inches).

Technically or commercially it is known as sheet cut steel plate or plate and in the international market as plate, medium plate, heavy plate, hot rolled carbon steel plate or cut-to-length steel plate.

Productive process

The manufacture of steel products in the world begins with the extraction and benefit of raw materials, from which liquid steel is obtained, an input that is subsequently rolled to shape the product to be obtained.

It follows that the inputs used to manufacture sheet steel plate in the world are the same: coal, iron ore, scrap, fluxes and various ferro-alloys that are added according to the type of steel to be manufactured.

The processes of rolling, extraction and benefit of raw materials are similar in the world, since they only differ in the degree of automation. The difference occurs in the technology used in the smelting and steeling process, which can be carried out mainly by: a) blast furnace BF (for the acronym in English for Blast Furnace) and oxygen steeling in furnaces called BOF (for the acronym in English for “Basic Oxigen Furnace”), and b) electric arc furnace EAF (for the acronym in English of “Electric Arc Furnace”) that melts scrap and / or sponge iron.

According to the investigation of the Ministry of Economy, the production process of the sheet steel plate under examination is carried out through the stages of obtaining liquid steel in BF-BOF furnaces, secondary metallurgy, continuous casting and rolling, the which are described below:

  • Obtaining the steel in BF-BOF furnaces: the coke, fluxes and iron ore are loaded in the BF, where they are melted to obtain the pig iron or first fusion iron; This material is transported in thermos carts to load it into the BOF furnace (pot called converter), where oxygen is injected to accelerate the chemical reaction that allows reducing the carbon content in the liquid pig iron to the levels required by the steel that is programmed to produce. .
  • Secondary metallurgy: the liquid steel is emptied into a pot, where it is deoxidized with aluminum until it has a minimum content of 0.020%; then the ferroalloys are added, such as ferromanganese, ferrosilicon, ferroboron, among others, which are required to comply with the physical and chemical characteristics established by the standards or specifications that the client requests.
  • Continuous casting: the liquid steel obtained by the BF-BOF process goes through a continuous casting machine where slabs are obtained, and
  • Rolling: in mills with a variable number of castles and rollers, the slabs are reduced until obtaining a plate or hot rolled plate with the thicknesses and widths that are required.



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