Egypt imposes temporary tariffs on steel import to protect local industry

The Cairo Post:
CAIRO: Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced Tuesday a 7.3 percent temporary tariffs to protect domestic steel manufacturers.

The 7.3 percent tariffs, with a minimum of 290 EGP ($45.5) per ton, will be raised for a maximum period of 200 days.

Egypt’s steel manufacturers have recently complained of increasing imports from Turkey, the world’s top exporter of reinforcing steel. It was also reported that a number of steel importers in Egypt have already agreed on buying large quantities of Chinese steel as local steelmakers raised prices by 150 EGP per ton in August, selling the ton at 5,200 EGP while imported steel reached 4,900 EGP per ton.

The harsh decline in fuel quantities was the key reason behind the price hike, Mohammed Hanafi, the Director of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries at the Federation of Egyptian Industries FEI), told Youm7 earlier in August.

The FEI appealed to the Anti-Dumping and Subsidy at the Ministry of Industry and Trade to control import of Chinese steel to protect national production, Youm7 reported Sunday.

Last year, the ministry announced it was considering imposing anti-dumping duties on Turkish steel imports.

Egypt’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) criticized the decision in a Tuesday statement, saying it would arouse a wave of price hikes in many related sectors.

“Government’s insistence on imposing such protective tariffs conveys an unjustified and negative message about the government’s economic approaches despites contrary assurances from all political and executive leaders,” head of FEDCOC, Ahmed al-Wakeel said in a Tuesday statement.

“This will hurt domestic and international confidence in Egypt, preventing many businesses from investing in Egypt,” said Wakeel, adding “such decisions will turn Egypt into an isolated island, repelling investment and unable to create jobs which is the major challenge after the revolution.”

In a statement to Veto news website, Ahmed el-Zeiny, the head of the FEDCOC’s Building Materials Division, considered the decision a “wrong and unacceptable decision taken in favor of the producers.”

Both local and Turkish steel prices will jump 200 EGP to 300 EGP per ton to be sold at 5,300 EGP, up from 5,000 EGP currently, said Zeiny, and he urged the Cabinet to interfere to prevent the implementation of this decision.

He warned that only local manufacturers would benefit from this decision which will increase consumers’ burden. He stressed that the cost of real estate properties will surge as steel prices will soar in the coming few days.

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