China Is Hit by EU Tariffs of Up to 13% on Reinforcing Steel

  • Import duties show concerns about Chinese steel overcapacity
  • EU says European industry unfairly undercut in home market

The European Union imposed tariffs as high as 13 percent on steel from China used to reinforce concrete, the latest sign of EU unease about overcapacity at Chinese mills.

The duties punish Chinese exporters of high fatigue performance steel concrete reinforcement bars for allegedly selling them in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. The targeted companies include Jiangyin Xicheng Steel Co., Jiangsu Yonggang Group Co. and Zhangjiagang Shatai Steel Co.

EU-based competitors including the Celsa and Riva groups suffered “material injury” as a result of dumped imports from China, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Friday in the Official Journal. The duties, which will take effect on Saturday, are for six months and may be prolonged for five years.

With EU anti-dumping protection already in force against China on goods ranging from stainless steel and electrical steel to wire rod and steel wires, the new measures reflect European concerns that Chinese mills have the capacity to flood world markets. China, which accounts for about half of global steel production and posted its slowest economic growth in more than two decades in 2015, on Jan. 24 pledged steel-capacity cuts.

HFP Rebars

Chinese exporters expanded their share of the EU market for high fatigue performance steel concrete reinforcement bars -- also called HFP rebars and known for their resilience -- to almost 36 percent in the 12 months through March 2015 from 7.9 percent in 2013 and zero in previous years, the commission said on Friday.

The anti-dumping duties are the preliminary outcome of an inquiry that the commission opened in April 2015. The probe stemmed from a dumping complaint by European steel industry group Eurofer on behalf of producers that account for more than a quarter of the EU’s output of HFP rebars. Chinese shipments of HFP rebars to the EU go to the U.K. and Ireland, Eurofer said at the time.

The provisional duties range from 9.2 percent to 13 percent, depending on the Chinese exporter. Jiangyin Xicheng Steel faces a 9.2 percent rate, while Jiangsu Yonggang Group and Zhangjiagang Shatai Steel each are subject to a 13 percent levy.

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