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Europe Steel Industry Body Mulls Complaint Against China

The European steel industry association EUROFER could decide to file an antidumping complaint against China with the European Commission by the end of this month, based on data the body has collected.

"We need to meticulously prepare the case ... by the end of October we should be able to do so," Dieter Ameling told Reuters on Sunday, referring to EUROFER's attempt to acquire information proving China is exporting steel to Europe at prices below production costs.

Speaking ahead of this week's IISI annual steel congress, the head of the German steel industry association Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl expressed confidence that the European Commission would have to act so long as the data collected by European steelmakers supports their case.

"So far it is very difficult to prove damages have arisen, but the threat of damages suffices," Ameling said.

Should the European Commission be convinced of the antidumping claims, it would then bring the matter to the attention of the World Trade Organisation, which could then impose measures such as protective import tariffs.

Ameling said he expects China to export 10 million tonnes of steel into the EU in 2007, twice as much as last year.

Michael Wurth, head of flat products in Europe for industry giant Arcelor Mittal, believed the European Commission and its trade commissioner Peter Mandelson were sympathetic to EUROFER's concerns.

"Mr. Mandelson is more open than ever...for that reason one can be confident that the unfair competition will come to an end," he said at an industry luncheon on Sunday.

Contact Europe: Economy

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