EU imposes import duties on some Chinese steel to counter subsidies

The European Commission imposed new duties on Chinese steel imports. [Scott L/Flickr]

The European Union has imposed provisional import duties of as much as 28.5% on certain Chinese corrosion-resistant steels after an eight-month investigation found that the products benefited from unfair subsidies.

The 9 August decision by the European Commission followed a complaint by steel association Eurofer, whose members include ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel Europe.

Imports of Chinese coated, corrosion resistant steel have surged 45 percent this year and make up 51% of total EU imports of the product, according to data cited by investment bank Jefferies.

Steel sector faces heated summer as trade war looms

The world’s most powerful nations risk failing to make enough progress on tackling steel overcapacity by an August deadline, which is seen by the United States as a potential reason to start a trade war.

“With Voestalpine, Thyssenkrupp and ArcelorMittal leading exposure to galvanised (corrosion resistant) steel, today’s news is a positive catalyst for boosting domestic market share and margins,” Jefferies analysts said.

The EU has hit China, which produces half the world’s steel, with anti-dumping duties on various steel products in recent years after EU companies cited illegal subsidies.

The EU executive body said anti-dumping duties were necessary to help producers in at least 15 EU countries, according to an announcement published in the bloc’s Official Journal on Wednesday (9 August).

Commission exploring how to protect EU steel market from China

It doesn’t look good for Beijing. Brussels and Washington still refuse to recognise China as a market economy and the Commission has proposed legislation that completely changes the rules for EU trade with third countries. EURACTIV Czech Republic partner Aktuálně.cz reports.

“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, ranging from 17.2% to 28.5%, will affect Hesteel Group, Shougang Group, Shagang Group and several other companies.

The companies can challenge the EU decision at a hearing within 25 days.

EU sets steel import duties to counter Chinese subsidies

The European Union has set duties of up to 35.9 percent on imports of hot-rolled flat steel from China to counter what it says are unfair subsidies in a finding challenged by Beijing.

The European Commission, which conducted an investigation on behalf of the 28 EU members, found a number of Chinese companies had benefited from …