Chinese hot-rolled coil draws subsidy probe in EU

10 May 2016. By Poppy Bullock.

EU steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrupp have asked the EU to investigate whether Chinese producers of hot-rolled coil have gained an unfair edge from state subsidies, MLex has learned.

The European Commission is probing whether the same producers are selling their goods in Europe at unfairly cheap prices. Eurofer, the European steel association, has asked investigators to also open an antisubsidy probe.

Hot-rolled flat steel has a wide range of uses, including the manufacture of pressure vessels, oil and natural-gas pipelines, containers, floors and electricity pylons.

EU companies have said they’re unable to compete with Chinese steel because it receives unfair advantages from government aid.

The commission hasn’t yet decided whether to open the probe.

Global leaders met last month to discuss the overcapacity crisis of the steel market, which the EU, the US and Japan, among others, say is largely due to Chinese subsidies (see here).

China exported hot-rolled coil for about $280 a metric ton last May — a 40 percent price drop from a year earlier. EU prices of the coil have typically exceeded $400 a ton in the last few years, industry figures show.

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