South Korean steel exports to the United States fell by 8% to 2.5mn mt from January to November 2019, as compared to the same period in 2018. This figure is a nine-year low for exports from the Asian country to the US.

Weak demand and tariffs on individual products are being attributed for the 2019 drop in steel exports. 

In 2018, the US government invoked Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and imposed an additional 25pc tariff on steel imports. 

The South Korean government then negotiated a quota with the US, which would lock exports in at not more than 70pc of the average annual between 2015 and 2017, which was agreed to be 3.83mn mt.

Last year, however, the annual export number for steel from South Korea to the US only hit 65pc of the above quota.

Anti-dumping and countervailing duties outside the 25pc additional tariff are being blamed.

For example, pipe exports from South Korea to the US amounted to 7,20,000 mt from January to November last year, down by 11.7pc from the prior year. 

The United States Department of Commerce imposed tariffs of at least 10pc on the products, including tubular goods for the oil industry. 

The US department had also imposed a countervailing duty of 58.68pc on Posco’s hot-rolled steel sheet products in 2016, before lowering it to 0.55pc in June 2019.

Posco had significantly reduced its exports to the US market between 2016 and 2019.

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