Egypt's ministry of industry and foreign trade on Thursday announced that protective tariffs on imported steel rebars would temporarily be applied at a rate of 6.8 per cent at a minimum of LE299 per ton for roughly seven months, Al Ahram online reported.
The decision came as a response to the demands of Egyptian steel producers to protect the local market from imported steel rebars, especially those coming from Turkey and Algeria.
Some LE9.1 billion worth of Turkish steel rebars were imported by Egypt between January and July of 2010. This is compared with some LE11.3 billion during the same period one year earlier, according to the Turkish Statistics Authority.
Hisham Saleh, Egypt's minister of industry, has stated that the government was devoted to protecting local industries from their foreign counterparts.
"We will take the necessary precautions, in line with domestic and international regulations, to stem the damage to our industries from imported rebars," Saleh stressed.
The per-ton price of imported steel rebars currently stands at LE3370, compared to LE4350 for domestically-produced rebars.
The Federation of Egyptian Industries called for the move after finding that imported steel rebars were almost 27 per cent cheaper than their Egyptian counterparts, explained Mohamed Hanafi, head of the Egyptian Chamber of Metallurgical Industries.
Notably, Morocco, Jordan and Malysia have taken similar measures aimed at protecting their local rebar markets from international competition.