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EU sets anti-dumping duties on two grades of Chinese steel
[BRUSSELS] The European Union has set provisional import duties on two grades of steel coming into the bloc from China to counter what it says are unfairly low prices in a move likely to anger Beijing.
The duties are the latest in a line of trade defences set up against Chinese steel imports over the past two years to counter what EU steel producers say is a flood of steel sold at a loss due to Chinese overcapacity.
Some 5,000 jobs have been axed in the British steel industry in the last year, as it struggles to compete with cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs.
G-20 governments recognised last month that steel overcapacity was a serious problem.
The duties are set at between 13.2 and 22.6 per cent for hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and at between 65.1 and 73.7 per cent for heavy-plate steel, according to a filing in the European Union's official journal.
The hot-rolled steel case includes Bengang Steel Plates Co Ltd and Hebei Iron & Steel Co Ltd and units of Jiangsu Shagang Group.
The heavy plate steel case covers Nanjing Iron & Steel Co Ltd, Wuyang Iron and Steel Co and Minmetals Yingkou Medium Plate Co Ltd.
Both cases were brought by European steel manufacturers'association Eurofer. It said that Chinese producers' share of the EU market in heavy-plate steel, used in construction, mining and shipbuilding, grew to 14.4 per cent in 2015 from 4.6 per cent in 2012, while the average price dropped by 29 per cent over the same period.
For hot-rolled, the market share grew to 4.3 per cent from below 1 per cent over the same period, while import prices fell by about 33 per cent.
European producers of hot-rolled steel include ThyssenKrupp, Tata Steel and ArcelorMittal, while heavy-plate is made by Tata and two unlisted German companies.
The duties, which will take effect on Saturday, are provisional, meaning they are in place for up to six months until the European Commission completes its investigation.
If upheld, they would typically be set for five years.