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Europe to monitor steel imports as local sector threatened

The EU started monitoring imports of steel from China as theworld's biggest producer steps up exports, Bloomberg News reported April 29.

Excessive flooding of the market is hurting European steelmakerssuch as ArcelorMittaland ThyssenKrupp AG.

The surveillance plan is expected to continue until May 15, 2020.Monitoring will start in 21 days, and will apply to 46 products or group of productsincluding hot-rolled sheets, cold-rolled sheets and wire rods. The measure willapply to all non-EU countries, with the exception of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.It will also not apply to imports whose net weight is 2,500 kilograms or less.

The measure will allow the union to impose tariffs more quicklyif cheaper imports threaten the European steel sector, which reportedly employssome 328,000.

Domestic steel producers are facing a "threat of injury"over excessive Chinese exports, the European Commission said April 29 in its OfficialJournal.

China now accounts for about 50% of worldwide steel production.In January, the country said it would cut its steel capacity, but the EU said thatwill be insufficient to re-balance the market.

The EU has threatened to imposetariffs on several Chinese-produced steel products, as well as launchingmore investigations intosteel-dumping charges.

Europe's steel industry has suffered from excessive Chinese steelon the market, losing 7,000 jobs since last autumn.