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China to impose import duties on electrical steel from EU

Saturday, April 2, 2016 - 08:51

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China said Friday it would impose import deposits of up to 46 per cent on flat-rolled electrical steel products from the European Union, as its domestic producers face growing financial pressure.

[BEIJING] China said Friday it would impose import deposits of up to 46 per cent on flat-rolled electrical steel products from the European Union, as its domestic producers face growing financial pressure.

China's commerce ministry said that it will levy anti-dumping duties on imports of Grain Oriented Flat-rolled Electrical Steel (GOES) from Japan, the South Korea and the European Union.

Importers will pay deposits ranging from 14.5 per cent to 46.3 per cent, after an investigation showed the regions were guilty of dumping which damages domestic Chinese industry, the ministry added in a post on its website.

The announcement came as Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron held crisis talks to salvage Britain's steel industry after Indian giant Tata Steel said it was putting its business in the country up for sale, threatening 15,000 jobs.

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Tata's decision notably puts at risk Britain's biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in the former industrial heartland of south Wales. The facility is Wales' biggest single employer and closure would have a devastating impact on the local economy.

The Port Talbot plant reportedly produced grain-oriented flat-rolled steel.

China imported about 1.5 million tonnes of steel from the EU in 2014, and exported about 6.5 million tonnes of its steel to the EU, according to the World Steel Association.

Europe's steelmakers called this week for sharply higher anti-dumping tariffs to protect against a flood of cheap Chinese imports.

China's own steel sector is also reeling from the effects of massive overcapacity as its economy slows.

Beijing has said it will shed some three million jobs in its coal and steel sectors in the next few years.

China makes more steel than the rest of the world combined, and the government plans cuts of up to 150 million tonnes in production capacity over five years.

One of China's largest steelmakers, state-owned Wuhan Iron and Steel, plans to shed up to 50,000 jobs, as the government struggles to reduce overcapacity while growth in the world's second-largest economy slows.

AFP

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