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EU launches antidumping probe into Chinese aluminum extrusions

London — The European Commission has launched an antidumping investigation into aluminum extrusions from China, the EC said Friday.

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The decision comes in response to a complaint lodged on January 3 by industry group European Aluminium on behalf of seven producers representing more than 25% of the total EU production of aluminum extrusions.

European Aluminium welcomed the move, saying that aluminum extrusions from China are currently subject to antidumping duties in the US, Canada, Australia and Vietnam.

"Increasing amounts of underpriced Chinese exports are dumped on the EU market, with harmful consequences for European aluminium producers. In the past year, production lines and entire plants closed, with significant job losses as a result," said Gerd Goetz, the group's director general, in a statement.

"Chinese firms are not playing by the rules and show no signs of changing their approach. We have every reason to believe the dumping will continue unless the EU protects its market," he added.

The products to the investigation is bars, rods, profiles (whether or not hollow), tubes, pipes; unassembled; whether or not prepared for use in structures (e.g. cut-to-length, drilled, bent, chamfered, threaded); made from aluminum, whether or not alloyed, containing not more than 99.3 % of aluminum.

The complaint "provided evidence that imports of the product under investigation from the country concerned have increased overall in absolute terms and in terms of market share," the EC said in Friday's edition of the EU Official Journal.

The complaint also provided evidence of "raw material distortions" in China, the EC said.

"According to the evidence in the complaint, billets of aluminium, which account for more than 60% of the cost of production of the product under investigation, is subject to export taxes in the country concerned," it said.

The complaint "establishes that the export taxes on the product under investigation appear to result in prices below those of representative international markets," the EC added.

The investigation of dumping and injury will cover the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, while the examination of trends relevant for the assessment of injury will cover the period from January 1, 2016 to the end of the investigation period.

"We ask the EU to be proactive rather than wait until it is too late -- we need anti-dumping duties to be introduced urgently," Goetz said. "If no urgent action is taken, Chinese production will further substitute European production and the EU risks losing a strategic value chain that is crucial to many low carbon applications."

According to the EC's announcement, the investigation will be concluded within normally 13, but not more than 14 months of Thursday's publication of the notice.

Provisional measures, however, may be imposed normally not later than seven months, but in any event not later than eight months, from the publication date.