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EU imposes 5 year tariffs on Chinese steel pipes

Bloomberg reported that European Union has imposed 5 year tariffs on steel pipes from China, citing the threat of injury to EU producers including ArcelorMittal as a result of cheaper imports.

The duties as high as 39.2% punish Chinese exporters for selling seamless pipes and tubes in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. The construction, energy and engineering industries use the pipes and tubes, which are also made in Europe by such companies as Vallourec SA and Tubos Reunidos SA.

The case, which led to the introduction of provisional levies in April, highlights the EU's readiness to protect European manufactures from lower-cost competitors as the economic slump shrinks markets and trade. European anti dumping duties usually aim to counter actual harm to EU industries rather than the possibility of it. The 27 nation EU said that "Injury would have occurred in the absence of provisional measures." The 5 year duties will take effect after Official Journal publication by October 8th 2009 and are higher than the existing provisional levies, which are up to 24.2%.

According to the EU, Chinese exporters such as Hengyang Valin Steel Tube Co. increased their combined share of the EU market for seamless pipes and tubes to 17.1% in the 12 months through June 2008 from 1% in 2005. Chinese exporters generated sales in the bloc of about EUR 388 million in the 12 months to June 30th 2009. The trade protection is the outcome of a probe opened in July 2008 after a dumping complaint by a group representing European producers. The duties cover pipes and tubes of circular cross section and an external diameter not exceeding 406.4 millimeters.

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