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SGL Wins Renewal of EU Graphite-Electrode Tariffs on India

The European Union renewed tariffs as high as 9.4 percent on graphite electrodes from India, saying “vulnerable and fragile” EU producers including SGL Carbon SE need the protection to vie with cheaper imports.

The EU re-imposed the duties on graphite electrodes for electric furnaces, used by steelmakers including Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG, until December 2015. The bloc introduced the levies for five years in 2004 to counter Indian subsidies to exporters including HEG Ltd. and below-cost -- or “dumped” -- sales by those companies in Europe.

“The union industry remains vulnerable and fragile,” the 27-nation EU said in two decisions today in Brussels. “The repeal of the measures would in all likelihood result in a worsening of the already fragile situation, and a recurrence of material injury.” The five-year renewal will take effect after being published in the European Official Journal by Dec. 17.

Indian exporters that also include Graphite India Ltd. more than tripled their combined share of the EU market for graphite electrodes for electric furnaces to around 5 percent in the 12 months through June 2009 compared with 2006, the bloc said. European producers’ share of their home market fell to about 69 percent from 85 percent over the period, according to the EU, which said other countries that export the graphite electrodes to the bloc include Russia, China, Japan and Mexico.

Three European manufacturers including Germany’s SGL Carbon requested longer trade protection against India last year, claiming a renewal of the duties was justified because Indian competitors continued to receive government aid and to pose a dumping threat. That prompted a 15-month EU probe that culminated in today’s decisions.

HEG is subject to a 7 percent anti-subsidy duty and a zero anti-dumping rate, while Graphite India faces a 6.3 percent anti-subsidy tariff and a 9.4 percent anti-dumping rate. Any other Indian producers face a 7.2 percent anti-subsidy duty and an 8.5 percent anti-dumping levy.

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