Brussels - Today, the Commission opened an anti-dumping investigation against imports of Chinese High Fatigue Performance (HFP) rebar. «This was no longer sustainable», says EUROFER Director General Axel Eggert welcoming the Commission’s decision. «Appearing for the first time in the EU in 2013, in only 2 years Chinese HFP rebars took a fourth of the market facilitated by price opportunistic trading.» underlined Eggert.
Softening Chinese steel demand has exposed massive excess capacities estimated by the OECD at around 400 million tonnes fuelled by state control and financial assistance. In particular, the recent lifting of the boron-alloy VAT export rebate has created a trade loophole by replacing boron by other alloys such as chrome. Just recently, to support Chinese steel producers facing an over-supplied, depressed domestic market, the Chinese government cut electricity prices.
Because China does not effectively address its excess steel capacities allowing companies to operate under market conditions, its excess production is destabilizing the global steel industry. «Like most of its steel trade partners, the EU is acting against the unfair Chinese imports which we welcome », points out Axel Eggert, adding that «When trade remedies are justified, they should be imposed in as timely and effective a manner as possible – just like other trade partners do».
Axel Eggert, Director General, +32 2 738 79 34 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Karl Tachelet, Director International Affairs, +32 2 738 79 49 (email@example.com)
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Antidumping Investigation Against Imports of High Fatigue Performance Iron or Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bars (HFP Rebar) from China
Q: What kind of procedure is this?
A: The Commission has initiated an antidumping investigation against imports of high fatigue performance iron or steel concrete reinforcing bars and rods (referred to as HFP rebar) from China. The investigation will aim to establish whether Chinese HFP rebar is sold into the EU at dumped prices and is injuring EU producers. If so, antidumping duties will be imposed on Chinese HFP rebar imports.
Q: Why has the case been brought?
There has been a huge rise in imports from China over the course of the last 2 years. Chinese imports increased from 0 in 2012 to over 250,000 tonnes in 2014. Their prices were considerably lower than those of the EU producers. The market for HFP Rebar in the UK expanded significantly during the period, but due to the massive rise in Chinese imports, the volume of European produced HFP rebar fell considerably losing a third of their market share. The EU industry’s injury was caused by dumped Chinese imports.
Q: What kind of product is this?
A: HFP rebar comprises steel concrete reinforcing bars with highest fatigue properties. The key characteristic of HFP rebar is its ability to endure repeated stress without breaking. It can resist in excess of 4½ million fatigue cycles using a stress ratio (min/max) of 0.2 and a stress range exceeding 150 MPa.
Q: How can we tell HFP rebar from other rebar?
A: The most common product that falls within the definition of HFP Rebar is rebar produced to British Standard BS4449 which sets a mandatory five million fatigue cycles benchmark (judged based on comparable stress ranges). Other European standards set no or much lower fatigue limits. Therefore, rebar produced to other national standards would not be considered HFP Rebar. Certification relating to British Standard BS4449 rebar is given by the UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels (CARES). For practical purposes this means that only imports of CARES-certified rebar will be targeted by the investigation.
Q: What imports will be affected by the procedure?
A: Only imports of Chinese rebar destined for the UK and Ireland will be affected. The vast majority of imports of HFP Rebar are likely to be CARES marked destined for the UK and Ireland.