Import duties on iron billets weigh on top Egyptian steel manufacturer

Egyptian steel manufacturer, El Garhy Group, incurred losses of 40 million Egyptian pounds($2.417mln)in three months affected by the temporary import duties of 15 percent on iron billets imposed by the government, its chairman said on Sunday.

Elgarhy, also  Chairman of the Metallurgical Chamber at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) told Amwal Al Ghad that in general the Egyptian factories incurred total losses of 1.2 billion pounds within last three months.

The factories are operating at 10 percent capacity impacted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s decision to impose import fees of 15 percent on iron billets, Elgarhy  further noted.

Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced earlier on April 15 temporary import fees of 15 percent on iron billets and 25 percent on steel rebar for 180 days, a move aimed to protect national industry against unfair competition.

According to the decree, the Ministry of Finance would collect 25 per cent customs duties on steel rebar in all its forms (bars, rods and coils) and 15 per cent on semi-finished iron products such as billets.

The ministry hopes this decision increases the growth rate of production and sales of the local industry and supports the Egyptian manufacturers as the proceeds of these fees will be placed in the account of the Export Development Fund of the Central Bank. This will help increase the activity of the Egyptian export sector and thus will provide more employment opportunities for young people.

However, the Supreme Administrative Court has suspended the imposed 15 percent import duty on iron billets. The court is now seeking expert opinion to ascertain the effects of the duty on local industry.