* Latest in series of duties set for Chinese steel
* Duties for hot-rolled steel 13.2-22.6 pct
* Duties for heavy-plate 65.1-73.7 pct
* European steel shares sharply higher
(Adds industry, analyst comments)
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, Oct 7 The European Union has set
provisional import duties on two types of steel coming into the
bloc from China to counter what it says are unfairly low prices,
in a move likely to anger Beijing.
The duties are the latest in a line of trade defences set up
against Chinese steel imports over the past two years to counter
what EU steel producers say is a flood of steel sold at a loss
due to Chinese overcapacity.
Some 5,000 jobs have been axed in the British steel industry
in the last year, as it struggles to compete with cheap Chinese
imports and high energy costs.
G20 governments recognised last month that steel
overcapacity was a serious problem. China, the source of 50
percent of the world's steel and the largest steel consumer, has
said the problem is a global one.
The duties will be in place eight months after the launch of
respective investigations, a month earlier than would normally
be the case. The European Commission has committed to speed up
its trade defence actions under pressure from EU producers.
The Stoxx basic resources sub-index was by far the
strongest component of the Stoxx 600, propelled by European
steelmakers. Shares of the world's largest steel producer,
ArcelorMittal were up 4.3 percent, ThyssenKrupp's
by 2.2 percent.
European steelmakers association Eurofer said it welcomed
the fact that the duties would be in place earlier than normal.
The duties, which will take effect on Saturday, are
provisional, meaning they are in place for up to six months
until the European Commission completes its investigation. If
upheld, they would typically be set for five years.
No one was available for comment at a series of steelmakers
in China, which was celebrating a week-long national holiday.
The duties are set at between 13.2 and 22.6 percent for
hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and at between 65.1 and
73.7 percent for heavy-plate steel, according to a filing in the
European Union's official journal.
Industry association UK Steel said in a statement that the
speed at which tariffs were imposed was very welcome.
"However, while we hope the tariffs for heavy plate are
robust enough to ensure free and fair trade, the proposed levels
for hot-rolled steel are not high enough, which might encourage
China to continue dumping it on to the EU market," it said.
Jefferies analyst Seth Rosenfeld said the heavy plate duties
were well above expectations and would have a meaningful impact,
while those set for hot-rolled steel were as expected and should
help should help disincentivise imports.
The hot-rolled steel case includes Bengang Steel Plates Co
Ltd and Hebei Iron & Steel Co. Ltd and
units of Jiangsu Shagang Group.
The heavy plate steel case covers Nanjing Iron & Steel Co
Ltd, Wuyang Iron and Steel Co and
Minmetals Yingkou Medium Plate Co Ltd..
Eurofer said Chinese producers' share of the EU market in
heavy-plate steel, used in construction, mining and
shipbuilding, grew to 14.4 percent in 2015 from 4.6 percent in
2012, while the average price dropped by 29 percent over the
For hot-rolled, the market share grew to 4.3 percent from
below 1 percent over the same period, while import prices fell
by about 33 percent.
European producers of hot-rolled steel include ThyssenKrupp,
Tata Steel and ArcelorMittal, while heavy-plate is made by Tata
and two unlisted German companies.
The European Commission is also investigating alleged
dumping of hot-rolled steel by producers in Brazil, Iran,
Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. That could lead to duties imposed by
(Additional reporting by Adam Jourdan in Beijing and Maytaal
Angel in London; Editing by Adrian Croft and Susan Thomas)