EU puts five-year tax on Chinese wire rod, spares Turkey, Moldova

The European Union imposed five-year tariffs on wire rod from China to help EU producers such as ArcelorMittal, Corus Group and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA compete against cheaper imports. Turkey and Moldova were spared.

The duties, as high as 24 percent, punish Chinese exporters for selling wire rod in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. The levies cover imports of the product – used in construction – that were worth about 600 million euros (US$856 million) in 2007 and 170 million euros last year.

EU producers suffered “material injury” as a result of the dumped shipments, the 27-nation EU said in a decision Monday in Brussels. The duties follow provisional levies introduced six months ago and will take effect after publication in the Official Journal by August 7.

This is the last of four steel-trade disputes between the EU and China that threatened to create political frictions. In the other three cases, the EU dropped the threat of antidumping duties on Chinese stainless steel and galvanized steel and imposed five-year levies on Chinese steel wires.

China increased its share of the EU wire-rod market to 5 percent in the 12 months through March 2008 from 0.3 percent in 2004, according to the bloc. This is the final outcome of an inquiry opened in May 2008 that also covered Turkey and Moldova, which face no five-year levies because the EU concluded Turkish and Moldovan exporters didn’t dump.

In contrast to Turkey, Moldova faced a provisional duty and EU importers will be reimbursed that levy, which was 3.7 percent.

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