Antwerp port has seen steel exports to the USA sharply increase over the last few months. Some American companies are preparing for the taxes being brought in by their government. Managers say Antwerp port is the biggest steel port in Europe, so will inevitably feel the impact of the increase in metal importation prices. The new prices came into effect on Friday.
Around 1.1 million tonnes of steel were sent to the USA in 2016 and 2017. This is according to figures the port’s managers provided on Friday. “Antwerp port handles around 50% of the European steel exports to the USA”, a spokesman explained.
In the first four months of 2018, exports from Antwerp to the USA increased by 43% compared to the same period last year. This is due t oa slow start to 2017, but anticipation of the new prices has clearly had an effect too. “American companies have stocked up to prepare for the taxes as much as possible”, a spokesman said.
The impact the American government’s measures will have on Antwerp port is difficult to predict. “It depends on Europe’s reaction and how steel producers and customers react”.
Antwerp port thinks the measures will affect the USA as well. “Lots of sectors in the USA need iron. The calculations take the 3 to 5% increase in production costs over there into account. It will come to billions of dollars, plus whatever the taxes bring in” Antwerp port has said.
A similar tax system was brought in in 2002. It was abandoned in 2003.