Russian Government Looking into Steel Price Control Measures
Kitco News reported that Russia is looking at the sudden metal price surge after receiving a number of complaints from consumers and is now mulling
Kitco News reported that Russia is looking at the sudden metal price surge after receiving a number of complaints from consumers and is now mulling over potential solutions, including regulating domestic prices. Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade is looking into the possibility of including a number of steel products on the list of goods that are deemed essential for the domestic market. This would give the government the power to one day limit exports to control prices. Ministry of Industry and Trade told Interfax "At the moment, there are no plans to introduce restrictions, but in this way, we could create a mechanism that the government can use if necessary."
The list could include products such as iron ore, semi finished iron or steel, rolled steel, copper billets, scrap and waste copper, copper and aluminium wire and unprocessed aluminium.
Russian government announced a proposal last week to look into some measures to help tackle the massive rise in metal prices. The reason behind the move is the drastic increase in prices for several metal products, including pipes, steel bars and sheet metal, which surged around 30% at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. The government has been receiving complaints from consumers of metal products, in particular from construction companies
Separately, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has launched three cases against MMK, NLMK and Severstal in April end because they maintained monopolistically high prices on the flat-rolled steel market. According to the FAS, Severstal, MMK and NLMK maintained monopolistically high prices. Given that signs of violating the anti-monopoly legislation were unveiled in the actions of the companies that are rivals on the market of hot-rolled products, FAS has launched separate cases against each company. This type of inquiry will prevent the rival companies from getting access to each other’s commercial information, and coordinating their positions and actions. The audit came on the heels of a statement that the service had received pointing to unreasonable price hikes for hot-rolled flat products. According to the FAS, the price hikes surged faster than those of commodity costs. "The demand from Russian consumers did not soar, which consequently could not trigger an increase of prices by more than 50% in the first half of 2021. These producers may face turnover-based fines if the fact of a violation is established.”