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EU considers keeping Chinese steel pipe tariffs

EU considers keeping Chinese steel pipe tariffs

The European Union may renew tariffs on steel pipe imports from China for another five years, highlighting worries in Europe about the Chinese threat to the EU’s manufacturing base.

The EU said it would examine whether to reimpose the duties – as high as 39.2 per cent – on imports from China of seamless steel pipes and tubes, which are used in the construction, energy and engineering industries.

In 2009, seeking to protect European producers including ArcelorMittal and Vallourec, the EU imposed the levies to punish Chinese exporters such as Hengyang Valin Steel Tube for allegedly having sold the steel pipes and tubes in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The review “will determine whether the expiry of the measures would be likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping”, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s trade authority in Brussels, said yesterday.

The anti-dumping duties were due to lapse on Tuesday and will now stay in place during the probe, which could last as long as 15 months.

The case has highlighted the EU’s readiness to protect European manufacturers from Chinese competitors because, when it applied the five-year duties in 2009, the bloc cited the “threat of injury” to European producers as a result of cheaper imports.

European anti-dumping duties usually aim to counter actual harm to EU industries rather than the possibility of it.

Chinese exporters of seamless steel pipes and tubes increased their combined share of the EU market to 17.1 per cent in the 12 months ended June 2008 from 1 per cent in 2005, the bloc said in 2009. Chinese exporters generated sales in the bloc of about €388 million in the same period, the EU said.

The inquiry into whether to renew the levies stemmed from a June 27 request by a European industry group on behalf of manufacturers that accounted for more than a quarter of the EU’s output of seamless steel pipes and tubes, the commission said yesterday. It did not identify any of the companies.

Source – The South China Morning

Zhejiang Yaang Pipe Industry Co., Limited

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