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UPDATE 1-EU takes Indonesia to WTO over export curbs for stainless steel

Philip Blenkinsop

(Adds details of complaint, shares, WTO process)

BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The European Union has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Indonesian export restrictions on raw materials used in the production of stainless steel, the European Commision said on Friday.

The Commission, which coordinates trade policy in the 28-member EU, said the restrictions unfairly limited EU producers' access to nickel in particular, as well as to scraps, coal and coke, iron ore and chromium.

The EU is also challenging subsidies that encourage Indonesian producers to use local, rather than imported, content, in violation of WTO rules, the Commission said.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Indonesia's measures put further jobs in the EU's steel sector at risk.

"Despite our concerted efforts, Indonesia has maintained the measures in place and even announced a new export ban for January 2020," she said in a statement.

Shares in European stainless steel producers were trading higher on Friday. Acerinox was up 0.9%, Aperam 1.6% higher and Outokumpu up 2.0%.

WTO complaints kick off with a 60-day period for consultations between the parties to settle the dispute. The complainant can then request a three-person panel to provide a ruling. That ruling would typically be at least a year away. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Francesco Guarascio and Mark Potter)