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Europe slaps punitive tariffs on Chinese steel exports
Bloomberg | 2016/10/11

The European Union imposed tariffs as high as 23 percent on hot-rolled steel from China in a bid to curb competition for European producers such as ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrupp.
     
The duties punish Chinese exporters such as Wuhan Iron & Steel Co., Angang Steel Co. and Hebei Iron & Steel Co. for allegedly selling the goods in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.

Hot-rolled coil is a bread-and-butter product used in everything from cars to construction. The European market for hot-rolled coil steel is worth 10 billion euros (75 billion yuan).

The European Union also slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese exports of heavy steel plates, which are used in shipbuilding, oil and natural-gas pipelines, bridges and buildings. 
     
European steelmakers face the "imminent threat of material injury" as a result of dumped imports of hot-rolled coil steel from China, the European Commission said Friday in the Official Journal. 

The duties, which will take effect on Saturday, are for six months and may be prolonged for five years.

Steel has become a renewed source of tension in EU-China trade relations as Chinese producers challenge European manufacturers by shipping surplus supply to Europe. In January, China, pledged cuts in steel capacity that the EU has said will be inadequate to re-balance the market.
     
The European Union already has enacted anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese exports of stainless steel, electrical steel, wire rod and steel wires. The new measures reflect Europe's determination to aid European producers after they shed at least 7,000 jobs over the past year and more than 85,000 jobs since 2008. 

The commission faced a Nov. 13 deadline under EU rules to impose six-month levies on Chinese hot-rolled coil and heavy plates.

'Positively surprised'
"We are positively surprised by the EC's decision to announce both of these cases over a month ahead of schedule, perhaps reflecting an increased willingness by the EU to respond to persistent import pressures," said Seth Rosenfeld and Alan Spence, London-based metals analysts at Jefferies International Ltd., in an e-mailed report.
     
Chinese exporters increased their combined share of the European market for hot-rolled coil to 4.3 percent last year, up from 0.8 percent in 2012, the commission said. 

The anti-dumping duties on both types of steel from China are the preliminary outcome of inquiries that the commission opened in February. 

Depending on the Chinese exporter, the provisional duties on hot-rolled coil range from 13 percent to 23 percent.

Wuhan Iron & Steel and Angang Steel each face an 18 percent levy on hot-rolled coil, while Hebei Iron & Steel is subject to a 13 percent rate on this product. 

Wuhan Iron & Steel and Angang Steel both face a 71 percent duty on heavy plates. If Hebei Iron & Steel exports heavy plates to Europe, the rate for the company would be the maximum 74 percent.

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