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Industry association estimates losses for the country's economy at €55 million in 2023

The Spanish steelmakers’ association Unesid said that in 2023 the country’s economy lost €55 million due to imports of pipes from China declared as structures for photovoltaic installations. This is reported by SteelOrbis.

According to the association, last year 119.8 thousand tons of structures were imported from China for the construction of such facilities, which is almost twice the volume registered in 2022. Out of the total, 61 thousand tons of Chinese steel structures were imported at a price of less than €1100 per ton, which is more in line with the cost of pipe products. Thus, Unesid assumes that the amount of pipes declared incorrectly is 50-60 thousand tons.

«Some importers declare these products as components for solar energy to circumvent European import regulations on steel products. This misdeclaration causes serious damage to the market and the local economy,» said Andrés Barceló, Director General of UNESID.

If the import quota is exceeded, the duty on pipes is 25%.

Last fall, Unesid informed the country’s tax authorities that pipes and steel profiles of non-European origin were being imported without complying with EU trade rules.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Spain reduced imports of rolled steel products from third countries by 1.5% in 2023 – to 3.78 million tons compared to 2022. Imports of flat products increased by 0.6% y/y, while imports of long products decreased by 14.8% y/y – to 3.33 million tons and 443.85 thousand tons, respectively. Flat products accounted for over 88% of total steel imports to Spain last year.