, BRUSSELS, Aug 12 – The EU has opened an anti-dumping probe into alleged unfair practices used by Chinese steel cable exporters, the official European Union journal announced Wednesday.
The European Commission believes there is "sufficient prima facie evidence" that China is circumventing the EU\’s anti-dumping measures by transhipping steel ropes and cables via South Korea and Malaysia.
Brussels was alerted to the practice by the EU Wire Rope Industries (EWRIS) on behalf of European producers who fear their products are being illegally undercut by Chinese imports which could jeopardise their industry.
"Significant volumes of imports of steel ropes and cables from the Republic of Korea and Malaysia appear to have replaced imports of the (Chinese) product concerned," the European Commission, the EU\’s executive arm, said in the official journal.
In addition "there is sufficient evidence that this increased volume of imports is made at prices" low enough to hurt European industry, it added.
The investigation will be completed within nine months, the commission said.
If the probe finds that the import rules have been circumvented then "anti-dumping duties of an appropriate amount can be levied retroactively from Malaysia and South Korea," the commission said.
European steelmakers accuse producers mainly in China but also Taiwan and South Korea of selling their products in Europe at below the cost of production, in what is known as dumping.
The probe is the latest in a slew of EU action against Chinese imports as European producers complain that China\’s dumping — selling goods abroad at artificially low prices — is hurting their businesses.
Last month the European Union slapped anti-dumping duties of up to 24 percent on imports of Chinese steel wire rods for five years.
Last December, EU countries narrowly voted in favour of duties on Chinese-made screws and bolts in one of the biggest anti-dumping cases against Beijing.
In retaliation, China launched an anti-dumping probe into screws and bolts made in the European Union.
On Tuesday the EU\’s competition watchdog opened similar anti-dumping procedures against Chinese exports of sodium gluconate, an industrial chemical mainly used to clean metal and glass.