Zwevegem, Belgium – NV Bakaert SA has reported a 50% increase as of August in prices of imported wire rod for its rubber reinforcement products in North America.
The increase “reflects the aggregate impact of changes in sourcing, wire rod price evolutions, import duties and anti-dumping tariffs,” the Belgian group said in half-year financial results issued 27 July.
And while, it said, wire rod imports for Bekaert’s two rubber reinforcement plants in the US had not been affected by import duties in the first half of 2018, prices had increased by about 10% over recent months.
“Domestic wire rod, used in our steel wire activity platforms, has become significantly more expensive due to increased demand for locally produced material,” said Bekaert.
“We have not been able to pass on the full price impact to our customers as we compete with import flows and integrated players in the US,” the company added.
Signalling its intention to introduce new pricing tools to improve pass-through, Bekaert said it remained “cautious about the cost inflation facing our US operations as a direct or indirect consequence of the imposed trade barriers.”
Raw materials costs issues clouded what Bekaert reported as “strong demand” for its tire-reinforcement products during the first six months.