Steel Market Intelligence: EU finalizes tariffs up to 39 percent on Chinese steel pipe

September 25, 2009

Steel Market Intelligence has reported that according to press reports, the European Union finalized five-year steel pipe dumping duties as high as 39 percent on Chinese imports September 24 that will go into effect on October 8. The decision was based on a vote conducted in late July in which trade experts from the EU's 27 member nations decided in favor of the European Commission's proposal to put tariffs on Chinese seamless pipe imports. The EU found that illegal dumping of Chinese seamless pipe threatened to injure the domestic pipe industry as imports surged more than 20-fold during the investigation period versus 2005.

[Steel Market Intelligence thinks] that a filing of a similar U.S. trade case last week was in part due to a concern that there is an increased likelihood of more Chinese seamless pipe coming into the U.S. market as a result of the EU decision.

Background

The European Union decided to impose five-year dumping duties ranging from 17.7 to 39.2 percent on Chinese imports of seamless pipe based on a vote taken at the end of July in which EU trade officials and experts agreed with the European Commission's assertion that Chinese exporters were selling seamless pipe at below cost in the EU market, according to press reports. The five-year duties will take effect on October 8.

The EU investigation began in July 2008 after EU producers filed a case saying that illegally dumped seamless pipe from China had caused imports to surge to 540,000 tons (during the July 2007 - June 2008 investigation period) from just 25,000 ton in 2005. In April the EU imposed provisional duties ranging from 15.0 to 24.2 percent on Chinese seamless pipe imports.

The EU is not the only country to investigate the dumping of Chinese seamless pipe imports. Mexico, India, and the U.S. have also initiated investigations against Chinese seamless pipe.

On September 16, U.S. Steel and V&M Star petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate some $380 million of illegally dumped and government-subsidized imports of seamless standard, line and pressure pipe from China. The petitioners are seeking dumping duties in excess of 60 percent and countervailing duties of 15 to 30 percent, according to trade press. The petitioners noted that Chinese imports of seamless pipe surged 132 percent to 366,000 tons in 2008 from 158,000 tons in 2006, while the value of the imports jumped 219 percent over the same time period. Chinese imports of seamless pipe have fallen to 66,459 tons in the first half of 2009.



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