March 25, 2015 / 7:58 AM / in 3 years

EU imposes anti-dumping duties on stainless steel from China and Taiwan

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will impose anti-dumping duties from Thursday on imports of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from China and Taiwan, according to a notice on Wednesday in the EU’s Official Journal.

A stainless steel product line is seen at a factory of Baosteel Group Corp., China's biggest steel maker, in Shanghai July 6, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song

The EU will apply tariffs of up to 25.2 percent for sheet, coil and strip imports from China and up to 12 percent for Taiwanese product, following a complaint lodged in May 2014 by the European steel producers association, Eurofer.

Eurofer has said China and Taiwan shipped 620 million euros ($678 million) of cold-rolled stainless steel into the EU in 2013, some 17 percent of the overall market, and were guilty of dumping, or selling at unfairly low prices.

Imports from the two countries more than tripled from 2010 to 2014, Eurofer said, because of overcapacity there rather than market growth in Europe.

The duties, set by the European Commission, are provisional pending the outcome of an investigation due to end in September.

They are in line with those reported by Reuters earlier this month.

Shares in European stainless steel makers rose -- Outokumpu’s by 1.6 percent and Aperam’s by 3.9 percent, bringing their gains since the Reuters report to at least 25 percent. Acerinox shares were up 2.1 percent.

Jefferies analyst Seth Rosenfeld said the tariffs would probably not end imports from China, but were high enough to have a considerable impact.

He estimates planned closures should push capacity utilisation at European steelmakers to over 80 percent in 2017 from 64 percent in 2014, with a further boost from lower imports.

“As imports fall you should see an effect both on market share and in terms of reduced pricing pressure, as the Chinese historically undercut Euro producers. Base prices should improve as a result,” he said.

Eurofer, welcoming the duties, said they would not limit competition, with ample supply from other non-EU countries.

The import tariff has been set at 24.3 percent for China’s Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co and Tianjin TISCO & TPCO Stainless Steel Co, 24.5 percent for other cooperating companies and at 25.2 percent for China’s Baosteel Stainless Steel Co, Ningbo Baoxin Stainless Steel Co and other Chinese companies.

For Taiwanese manufacturers, the rates are 10.9 percent for Tang Eng Iron Works Co, Yieh United Steel Corp (Yusco) and cooperating companies and at 12 percent for Chia Far Industrial Factory Co and other companies that did not cooperate with the EU investigation.

A parallel EU investigation into alleged illegal subsidies for Chinese producers is also due to end in September.

($1 = 0.9149 euros)

Editing by Mark Potter and Greg Mahlich

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