EU Investigation of Chinese, Taiwanese Stainless Steel Continues

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The European Commission on Thursday opened an investigation into unfair trade practices by Chinese and Taiwanese steel manufacturers, saying preliminary evidence shows that a steep increase in imports from the two countries has hurt European producers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The investigation is the latest attempt by EU steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal MT -0.90% to slow imports from Asian producers, mainly China. European manufacturers have brought numerous complaints in recent years alleging that Chinese manufacturers are exporting various steel products to Europe at unfairly low prices.

The investigation covers cold-rolled flat stainless steel, which has a wide range of industrial uses.

Imports of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from China and Taiwan into the 28-nation EU were worth €758 million ($1.03 billion) last year, 10 times what they were in 2002, according to Eurofer, the steel industry group that brought a complaint before the commission.

On Wednesday, June 25, the day’s biggest mover was the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge, which saw a 1.8 percent increase to $1.31 per pound. This increase comes after three straight days of stagnant prices. The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 1.7 percent to CNY 124,600 ($19,995) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,632) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,584) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,400 ($2,632) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome continues hovering around CNY 8,300 ($1,332) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese ferro-moly was unchanged at CNY 145,000 ($23,268) per metric ton.

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The spot price of nickel weakened by 1.5 percent on the LME, settling at $18,140 per metric ton. The 3-month price of nickel saw a 1.4 percent decline on the LME to $18,250 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price declined 0.4 percent to INR 1,102 ($18.30) per kilogram.

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