Egypt's Ezz Steel could raise steel rebar output if tariffs continue

15 June 2017

Egypt's largest steelmaker Ezz Steel could raise its production of rebars to its maximum capacity of 4.6 million tonnes per year if tariffs on imported rebars continue, George Matta, the company's marketing director, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Egypt imposed temporary tariffs on steel rebars from China, Turkey and Ukraine last week that are set to last for four months, in a move to protect local manufacturers hurt by imports.

The price of Egyptian rebars climbed 17 percent after the tariffs came into effect, but Matta said such an increase was artificial and not justified by the current level of demand.

He said he suspected traders were trying to undermine the government's anti-dumping measures by attempting to show that local producers were unable to meet demand.

Construction had in fact slowed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Matta said. The country last year consumed 8.7 million tonnes of steel rebar, of which 1.7 million tonnes were imported, Matta said.