The European Union has responded to the results of an 8-month investigation into Chinese corrosion-resistant steels by imposing provisional import duties of as much as 28.5%. The investigation found that Chinese steel products benefited from unfair subsidies. The decision was made by the European Commission in response to a complaint made by steel association Eurofer whose members include prominent steel companies such as ThyssenKrupp, Tata Steel Europe and ArcelorMittal.
Investment bank Jefferies commented that imports of Chinese corrosion-resistant steel soared by 45% last year and currently make up more than half of all EU imports of steel. “With Voestalpine, Thyssenkrupp and ArcelorMittal leading exposure to galvanized (corrosion resistant) steel, today’s news is a positive catalyst for boosting domestic market share and margins,” the bank’s analysts added.
Brussels has imposed anti-dumping duties on a number of steel products saying that the duties were necessary to help producers in at least 15 EU countries. “It was provisionally concluded that the imposition of measures would contribute to the recovery of the Union industry by allowing price increases enabling the industry as a whole to return to a profitable situation,” the Commission said in a statement. The EU import duties range from 17.2% to 28.5% and will affect China’s steel giants.
Earlier in June, the EU set duties of up to 35.9% on Chinese imports of hot-rolled flat steel to also address what it says are unfair subsidies in a finding challenged by Beijing. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom then commented that the EU was continuing to act against unfair foreign dumping. She said that the EU hoped that international discussions on steel overcapacity would eventually convince Beijing to end this practice. China’s Commerce Ministry then commented that it had “strongly” questioned the legitimacy of the EU decision.