UAE steel major urges further action to halt cheap imports

The steel manufacturing sector in UAE is seeking further support to prevent dumping of cheap steel imports in the country, according to the country's second largest private rebar manufacturer.

Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, said the inflow of dumped foreign products into the country has caused "massive damage to the local producers" over the past few years.

“We are trying to address these challenges by providing quality certified items in conjunction with marketing ‘Made in UAE’ steel products, which we believe, would help us avoid losing market share to foreign dumping. The UAE is self-sufficient to cater to the current demand of 3.5 to 4 million tonnes annually,” said Bhatia.

He added that although the UAE's Ministry of Economy has been taking action to ensure that local steel manufactures perform well in the market, the industry is seeking stronger support from the government to mitigate the damage to the local steel producers.

"This is because the ‘Made in UAE’ steel products are more reliable than imports. We are closer to the market than foreign manufactured products that usually take at least 30 days to arrive in the UAE. The UAE traders are keen to buy locally, save inventory costs and avoid price fluctuations,” he said.

Bhatia said he discussed several matters including safeguarding duty on rebars and imposed duty on steel pipes with Abdallah Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs, and Karim Toumi, International Trade Law Expert at the Ministry of Economy during their visit to Conares' steel manufacturing facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

Al Shamsi said: “We are happy to extend additional support, as the ‘Made in UAE’ products have not only gained market wide acceptance but also are preferred choice of many prestigious projects in the country today.

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“GCC countries continue studying the options to raise the tariffs on imported steel, aimed at helping protect local steel producers from cheap imports. We have traditionally kept steel tariffs low to facilitate local building booms. There are lot of measures in plan to control dumping of cheaper steal products from some countries, as this puts local steel producers at a tremendous disadvantage.”

Conares is forecast to deliver 1 million metric tons of steel annually, Bhatia said.

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