On June 14, 2021, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced a new anti-dumping investigation into hot-dipped galvanized steel wire originating in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea¹. Currently, Japan’s WTO tariff rate on hot-dipped galvanized steel wire (HS Code: 7217.20-019) is zero² and importers can import it from China and South Korea duty free.

Iron or non-alloy steel wire is drawn and galvanized to make hot-dipped galvanized steel wire. The material is mainly used for wire netting (fences, falling stone guard fences, falling stone guard nets, gabions, crimped wire nets and hexagonal wire meshes) and various types of barbed wire³. It is also used in bonding, including pulp bonding. The global galvanized iron wire market, including the hot-dipped galvanized steel wire market, was valued at $4,518.19 million in 2020. This is projected to increase to $6076.58 million by the end of 2027 assuming a CAGR of 2.97%⁴.

The volume of hot-dipped galvanized steel wire imported from China increased during the period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2020 from 21,008 tons to 36,636 tons and from South Korea from 8,889 tons to 11,235 tons⁵. Therefore, four domestic producers (NICHIA STEEL WORKS, LTD., NS HOKKAI SEISEN Co., Ltd., Galvart Japan Company Limited and WIRE TECHNO, Ltd.) applied for the imposition of anti-dumping duties on hot-dipped galvanized steel wire on March 31, 2021, claiming that the sales volumes of domestic products had significantly decreased and that domestic producers were prevented from adjusting their sales prices to reflect increased raw material costs. After initiating an investigation, the METI and MOF sent questionnaires to known interested parties, including 10 Chinese and South Korean producers, calling for responses by July 21, 2021⁶.

Under the WTO’s anti-dumping agreement⁷, an investigation, in principle, shall be concluded within one year (Art. 5.10). According to Japan’s past practices, a preliminary determination is normally made within eight to 10 months, and the application of provisional measures is determined soon after.

Companies that import hot-dipped galvanized steel wire from China or South Korea should monitor further developments and measures taken by the countries concerned.

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¹ https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2021/0614_001.html
² https://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2021_4/data/e_72.htm
³ https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2021/0614_001.html
⁴ Global Information, Inc., “Global Galvanized Iron Wire Market Insights, Forecast to 2027” (May 7, 2021), available at: https://www.giiresearch.com/report/qyr1004173-global-galvanized-iron-wire-market-insights.html
⁵ https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2021/pdf/0614_001a.pdf
⁶ Ministry of Finance, Public Notice No. 163 (June 14, 2021), available at: https://www.meti.go.jp/policy/external_economy/trade_control/boekikanri/trade-remedy/investigation/harigane/data/210614_kokuji.pdf (Japanese only)
⁷ https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/19-adp_01_e.htm

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