The European Commission set provisional import duties of up to 73.7% on two kinds of steel coming into the bloc from China, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 7.
The duties on hot-rolled coil and heavy plate imported from China, which were being sold in the EU on heavily dumped prices, will help ease competition pressure for European steelmakers including ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel UK Ltd. and ThyssenKrupp AG.
China's Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and Angang Steel Co. Ltd. will be subject to an 18% levy on hot-rolled coil, while Hebei Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd. is subject to a 13.2% rate on the same product.
Wuhan Iron & Steel and Angang Steel will also comply with a 70.6% duty on heavy plates, while Hebei Iron & Steel faces a levy of up to 73.7% on imports of heavy plates to the EU.
The decision will be effective for six months, starting Oct. 8.
However, the decision has "positively surprised" Seth Rosenfeld and Alan Spence, London-based metals analysts at Jefferies International Ltd.
"We are positively surprised by the EC’s decision to announce both of these cases over a month ahead of schedule, perhaps reflecting an increased willingness by the EU to respond to persistent import pressures on the domestic steel market," the analysts told Bloomberg News.
In early August, the EU imposed definitive five-year duties of up to 36.1% on Russian and Chinese cold-rolled steel imports after an investigation found that producers in the two countries were unfairly undercutting local steelmakers and helping to drive the European sector into crisis.