Russia to support home steel producers

From March, Russia will impose anti-dumping duties on stainless steel imports containing nickel from the European Union. EU exporters will now have to pay more than $US 1,000 per ton on stainless steel entering Russia.

It comes after a year-long investigation triggered by complaints from Russian steel producer Mechel that the EU was exporting products to Russia at low prices.

That led to a 16-percent fall in sales of domestically-produced stainless steel from 2001 to 2003.

Last year, Russia consumed about 135,000 tons of stainless steel, of which only a third was produced domestically.

Mechel says these new duties will help them regain the market share.

“The investigation was finished by the end of 2005,” said Aleksey Ivanushkin, Chief Executive of Mechel. “But, finally, it is done, it is signed, and I think, it will help us to grab back part of our markets and, actually, increase production in Russia and dominate in this very exiting product niche.”