The Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade has imposed temporary protectionist fees on imported steel of 6.8 per cent, with a minimum rate EGP 299 per tonne for 200 days, said minister Hatem Saleh.
The government started to investigate a complaint submitted by the domestic industry’s Chamber of Metal Industries to the Anti-Dumping and Subsidy Body, said Saleh.
The complaint was submitted on 23 September 2012, condemning the large imported steel shipments, especially from countries like China, to others who adopt low custom fees, like Egypt, damaging the domestic market.
“The government is keen to guard the interests of the domestic industry from harmful practices in international trade and we will take precautions in addition to all domestic and international regulation to push any damage away” said Saleh.
The investigative authority found that Morocco, Jordan, Russia and Malaysia have already taken similar procedures to save their industries; most of these countries are near to Egyptian markets, which may push steel exporting countries to seek refuge with Egypt.
“This decision is correct, as a way to protect the domestic industry from being destroyed, and guard local markets from bankruptcy,” said the head of sales at Ezz Steel Group, Samir Noman.
The imported steel from Turkey, China and Ukraine “threatens the domestic market, especially since it has no custom fees and it is being purchased at cost price, which pushes investments in Egypt’s markets down and abandoning the Egyptian resources, said Noaman. He added, “China has an excess of steel with around 80 million tonnes, and that huge rate may lead to damaging the local industry if it enters the market.”
“The decision will serve a specific sector only and will lead to market monopoly,” said the owner of Metal House factory for wrought iron designs, Hossam El-Hawary.
Factories that work on designing and using the iron in other manufactures will be negatively affected to some extent because the imported steel is much cheaper and the same quality of the Egyptian steel, said El-Hawary.