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Steel industry: AMSA vs the Steel Downstream. NEASA (once again) sets the record straight

Steel industry: AMSA vs the Steel Downstream. NEASA (once again) sets the record straight

Engineering News, on 5 October 2020, published a statement by AMSA in which it expressed its concern about NEASA’s “ill-informed attacks”, stating that the series of articles and statements by NEASA are “largely emotive, speculative and unfounded in fact”.

In what follows, AMSA’s 5 October 2020 statement will be proved to be ‘in fact unfounded’.

NEASA is in possession of notifications, circulated on 11 September 2020, in which customers of AMSA were informed that its order book ‘is closing ... today’. AMSA’s bare-faced denial of this and the fact that they, since said date, have rejected orders, is, to say the least, astonishing.

The fact is, NEASA is in possession of evidence that AMSA has not only rejected orders, either partially or in full since the date of the ‘closing’ of the order book, but also retrospectively, in respect of orders placed prior to that date.

On a previous occasion, NEASA stated publicly (click here to view) that AMSA applied for 120% duties on certain long products. AMSA publicly denied that and accused NEASA of spreading false news (click here to view). NEASA consequently set the record straight by publishing an extract from AMSA’s application to ITAC which indisputably confirmed that fact (click here to view)

If AMSA had any intention to alleviate the shortages that were artificially created by its reduced production start-up after lockdown, they would have done a full start-up months ago. They now, by announcing that they will commence full production in January 2021, portray themselves as being concerned about their customers - the steel downstream. That is simply disingenuous.

In truth, AMSA is now merely in survival mode and their own interests are all that counts - to the detriment of the entire downstream. 

The downstream (and of course AMSA, ITAC, the DTIC and Minister Patel) need to be reminded that AMSA succeeded in convincing Government to extend the safeguard-duties on hot-rolled coil which expired in August, in contravention of WTO rules. The result was that Duferco, who competes with AMSA, was eliminated from supplying steel to the local market.

The downstream is outraged by AMSA’s arrogant statements that the protectionist duties are for the protection of the entire downstream, and not only AMSA. The reality is, in the case of South Africa, nothing can be further from the truth