The EU set import tariffs on some types of steel and launched anti-dumping investigations on others on Friday ahead of crisis talks with corporate leaders over the future of big-emitting industries in Europe.
Such support may ease EU industry concerns about the bloc’s climate policies, smoothing the path for ongoing ETS reforms and making it less likely that producers will sell surplus carbon allowances to raise cash.
As of Saturday, the EU will set tariffs as high as 26.2% on Russian and Chinese producers of certain cold-rolled flat carbon steel after the European Commission found producers had unfairly undercut European producers.
The EU opened three new investigations against Chinese producers, taking the total to nine. As a result of previous probes, the EU has 37 trade defence measures for steel.
“We have so far put in place trade defence measures for more than 30 different types of steel products, and we will continue to effectively address legitimate concerns of our industry,” said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in a statement.
Axel Eggert of EU steel association Eurofer welcomed the move but said the tariff may still be too low to prevent dumping. He added that the US would most likely apply a rate of 59% in a similar case.
On Monday, the Commission will host a websteamed high-level conference for the bloc’s energy-intensive industries on how the EU can meet its emission targets without hurting their competitiveness.
Much of the day will focus on central EU funding pots such as Horizon 2020, which finances breakthrough low-carbon technologies.
Selling of EUAs by some crisis-hit industries was cited by many market participants as a factor in the price crash that has slashed as much as 44% off carbon since the end of 2015.
Many of the EU’s industrial firms say they are struggling partly as a consequence of China’s economic slowdown, which is flooding global markets with cheap exports, dampening domestic demand.
On Friday, Germany’s biggest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp posted a net loss of €23 million in its fiscal Q1, versus net profit of €50 million a year earlier.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org