EU punishes China for selling cheap fittings

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 2:47am

The European Union imposed tariffs of up to 67.8 per cent on pipe fittings and ceramic tableware from China, the latest evidence of the Chinese threat to higher-cost EU producers. Thailand was also affected.

The levies punish Chinese and Thai manufacturers of threaded malleable fittings and Chinese makers of ceramic tableware and kitchenware for allegedly selling them in the 27-nation EU below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The fittings are used in the gas, water and heating systems. Importers of the tableware and kitchenware include Germany's Metro and Sweden's Ikea.

European manufacturers have suffered "material injury" as a result of dumped imports from China and Thailand, the European Commission, the EU's trade authority in Brussels, said in the Official Journal.

Both sets of anti-dumping duties, due to take effect today, are for six months and may be prolonged for five years.

China, which faces more EU anti-dumping taxes than any other nation, increased its share of the bloc's threaded malleable fittings market to 47.3 per cent last year from 36.5 per cent in 2008, the commission said. Thailand expanded its share to 5.4 per cent from 5.2 per cent, according to the commission.

The fittings duties against China range from 32.1 per cent to 67.8 per cent, depending on the manufacturer.

The levies against Thailand range from 15.9 per cent to 39.7 per cent.

China increased its share of the EU market for ceramic tableware and kitchenware to 66.9 per cent last year from 64.8 per cent in 2008, the commission said. The duties range from 17.6 per cent to 58.8 per cent.