VCN - The price of exported steel to the US dramatically decreased to several hundred US$ per ton from the average export price of more than US $1,000 per ton.
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The movement of the exported steel prices to the US in the recent years (tothe end of every October). Chart: T. Binh
The US is not the largest importer of Vietnamese steel, but the price movement and prompt reaction of the US authorities in recent years to the change of selling prices of Vietnam’s products to the US showed the close scrutiny and quick reaction by the US authorities.
According to the latest statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, at the end of October, 2017, Vietnam exported 420, 860 tons of steels to the US with a turnover of US $337.256 million. The result sharply decreased in both volume and value against the 766,648 tons worth US$ 460 million at the end of October 2016.
Notably, the average price of exported steel to the US in recent years wildly fluctuated year to year.
Accordingly, the average export price (at year end) in 2013 was US $1,378 per ton. In 2014 it was US $1,534 per ton, but in 2015 dropped to US $750 per ton and in 2016 continuously dropped to US $600 per ton, but then in 2018 it slightly increased to US $801 per ton.
Facing the sharp decrease in the price of exported steel from Vietnam to the US from US$1.534 in 2014 to US $750 in 2015, US $600 in 2016, and the sharp increase in the volume of steel exported to the US from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of tons in 2016, the United States Department of Commerce immediately issued a decision on investigation of anti-tax evasion and anti-dumping (AD), to prevent tax evasion and anti-countervailing duty (CVD) for Vietnamese steel.
It should be noted, that the time of sharp increases in the volume and sharp decreases in the price of Vietnamese steel exported to the US coincides with the time when the United States opened an investigation of Chinese steel. Specifically, in 2015, the US started an investigation to impose AD and CVD tariffs on two Chinese products: corrosion-resistant carbon steel (commonly known as galvanized steel) and cold rolled steel.
In 2016, the US officially imposed an AD rate of 199.43% and a CVD rate of 39.05% on Chinese galvanized steel, and with an AD rate of 265.79 % and CVD rate of 265.44 % on cold rolled steel.
Whether or not Chinese steel masquerades as steel originated from Vietnam to export to the US, it must wait for an official decision from the competent authorities
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But in fact, the great movement on volume and price of steel,or for any import-export items, also requires the prompt assessment, analysis and measures from the competent authorities to prevent and remove potential risk (if any) of foreign goods which masquerade as goods originated from Vietnam to export to other countries. This affects not only each specific sector but also the reputation and trademark of Vietnamese goods in general.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in accordance with the provisions of the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreement on Rules of Origin, a country is determined as the country of origin of goods where the goods spend a substantial transformation to be made.
According to international practices as well as that of the US itself, hot rolled steel is processed to become cold rolled steel and then processed to become galvanized steel. This is considered as a “substantial transformation” and therefore, galvanized steel manufactured in Vietnam despite its input as hot rolled steel imported from other countries, is still considered a Vietnamese product (originated from Vietnam)
By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang