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BRUSSELS, June 26 (Reuters) - The European Commission has launched an investigation into Chinese and Taiwanese stainless steel makers after a complaint from European rivals who say they are exporting at unfairly low prices.
The Commission, the EU executive, said in its official journal on Thursday that EU steel association EUROFER's complaint of May 13 provided evidence that increased exports to Europe from Chinese and Taiwanese producers had had a negative impact on EU peers.
The Commission's anti-dumping investigation will last up to 15 months, with the possibility of provisional measures being imposed within nine months. Punitive import duties, when imposed, typically last five years.
EU imports of cold-rolled stainless steel sheet from China and Taiwan totalled 758 million euros ($1 billion) last year, according to Eurostat, a 10-fold increase from the value in 2002.
EU production in 2012, the last year for which data is available, was worth 23.6 billion euros. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robin Emmott)