US, Russia reach draft deal on hot-rolled steel trade


The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday said it had reached a draft agreement with the Russian government to revise a 13-year-old deal governing imports of hot-rolled steel.
The pact raises the minimum price at which Russian hot-rolled steel can be sold in the United States.
The department launched the negotiations with Russia after
U.S. steel company Nucor Corp. complained the 1999 agreement was out of date.
Nucor and other interested parties will have a chance to comment on the deal before it is final. Those remarks are due to the Commerce Department by Nov. 23.
After a preliminary review of the 1999 “suspension agreement,” the Commerce Department agreed earlier this year that prices for Russian hot-rolled steel were well below the U.S. market.
The reference price for Russian hot-rolled coil imports using the suspension agreement mechanism of $408.32 per tonne for the second quarter compared to the going rate in the domestic market of $763 per tonne in March, the department said in a June 1 notice announcing the preliminary results.