BEIJING – China is set to probe stainless steel products imported from the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia to determine if they are being sold lower than the existing market price in the country, a practice known as dumping, the Chinese ministry of commerce said on Monday.
The decision comes after Chinese firm Shanxi Stainless Steel, backed by four other companies, urged the authorities to initiate a probe over alleged dumping practices in the sale of stainless steel billet and hot-rolled stainless steel plates imported from the four countries.
The one-year long investigation, that is set to begin Monday, would continue until July 23 next year, although the ministry said on its website that the probe could be extended for another year under exceptional circumstances.
According to the ministry, the complaint by the five Chinese companies were taken seriously as they were major players in the sector, who accounted for more than 50 percent of the sector’s output between 2014-2017 and that they backed their complaint with concrete evidence.
The authorities would investigate if dumping practices were carried out between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017, while analyzing possible damage to the industry between Jan. 1, 2014-March 31, 2018.
The products under the scanner are used as raw material for manufacturing cold rolled stainless steel and also as a final product in the manufacturing of ships, containers, trains and also in the energy and petrochemical industry.
In 2017, China had imported 703,000 tons of these stainless steel products, a 200 percent rise from the year before, with 98 percent of the imports coming from the EU, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.