* Cases to be filed this year with European Commission
* One case targets cold rolled stainless from China, Taiwan
* Separate case concerns electrical steel sheet from Russia
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Feb 13 European steel lobby Eurofer
plans to file anti-dumping cases this year with the European
Commission against exports of cold rolled stainless sheet from
China and Taiwan and of electrical steel sheet from Russia.
If the Commission, the European Union's executive, takes up
the cases, they will join a series of damaging trade disputes
over recent years between the 28-nation EU and China, as well as
some with Russia.
"We have two cases in an advanced stage where we suspect
dumping and subsidies. One concerns Russia, the other concerns
China and Taiwan. They will be filed this year," Eurofer
director general Gordon Moffat told Reuters.
The China Iron and Steel Association was not available to
comment when contacted by Reuters, while the European Commission
declined to comment. China Steel Corp., Taiwan's
biggest steelmaker, said it was unaware of the planned action
and had no comment.
Russia's vice minister of industry and trade, Viktor
Yevtukhov, said Moscow would stand behind its steel producers.
"(We) emphasised the need to abandon protectionist policies
during the meetings with European colleagues. Taking into
account the discriminatory approaches the Europeans use in their
anti dumping investigations, both Russian business and the state
doubt the fairness of such probes," Yevtukhov said.
The cold rolled stainless market in western Europe is
estimated at about 4.6 million tonnes or 11 billion euros ($15
billion) annually, according to steel consultancy MEPS. The
European market for electrical steel sheet is much smaller by
NLMK, one of Russia's top steelmakers, said: "If
the investigations start, NLMK will provide all the necessary
information, which will confirm that the export of Russian
electrical steel is not dumping."
The EU currently has duties on a number of steel products
from China, including steel bolts and screws - ranging between
22.9 percent and 74.1 percent and which China says have not been
calculated in accordance with rules laid down by the World Trade
The bloc has also deemed some Russian producers of
fertilisers, ferro-alloys, pipelines, other steel products and
aluminium foil to be in breach of its anti-dumping policies as
they have access to cheap energy in Russia's domestic market.
Russia says the duties have cost the companies involved many
millions of dollars a year, and has warned it may take the EU to
the WTO over its rules relating to the advantage of cheap
Producing steel profitably in the EU has become difficult
given shrinking demand - down some 27 percent since 2008 - plus
higher energy and labour costs compared with Asian competitors,
and structural overcapacity of around 30 million-40 million
China, by far the world's largest steel producer, continues
to churn out steel at a record rates as authorities prop up
state-owned plants to keep employment high and avoid social
($1 = 0.7359 euros)
(Additional reporting by Andrey Kuzmin and Svetlana Burmistrova
in Moscow, David Stanway in Beijing, Philip Blenkinsop in
Brussels and Faith Hung in Taipei; Editing by Anthony Barker)