The European Commission has launched an investigation into accusations that Serbian exports of steel products have been dumping prices on the EU market, the Serbian government said on Sunday.
“The Serbian government is aware of the proceedings instituted on the complaint of the alleged dumping in exports of steel in the EU, which was filed by Eurofer, the association of steel producers in the European Union, and will fully cooperate in resolving this issue with European Commission,” the government said in a press release.
On Friday the European Commission said it launched an investigation to determine whether imports of hot-rolled steel products originating in Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine have been dumped on the EU market. The investigation follows the ongoing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into similar products from China, launched in February and May respectively, it added in a press release.
The Commission now has up to nine months to establish whether conditions to impose provisional countervailing duties are met, and a further six months to decide whether to impose definitive measures.
Earlier last week Chinese company Hesteel officially took over the Smederevo steelworks. A few days earlier steel mill Smederevo said it decided to terminate the management contract it had with Dutch companies HPK Engineering and HPK Management Ltd over their failure to meet their contractual obligations.
In April, Serbia’s government signed with China’s Hebei Iron and Steel, currently Hesteel Group, a sale agreement for the steel mill after the Chinese investor submitted a binding offer to buy all 98 property units of Zelezara Smederevo for a total of 46 million euro ($51.2 million).
China’s second-biggest steel producer is set to invest a total of $300 million in fixed capital and infrastructure within an unspecified timeframe, the Serbian government said at the time.
The steel mill is equipped with two blast furnaces and three basic oxygen converters capable of producing 2.2 million tonnes of crude steel annually, but it has been operating well below capacity recently. In January 2012, the Serbian government bought out the steelworks in Smederevo from US Steel for the token price of $1 in a bid to avoid the plant’s closure and save thousands of jobs.