China on Dec. 29 launched an anti-dumping probe into screws and bolts made in the EU, following a EU decision this month to impose high import duties on Chinese fastener exports. The investigation, which covers carbon steel screws, bolts and washers, could last for as long as 18 months.
The move came after EU countries voted on December 3 to slap import duties of up to 87% on Chinese-made screws and bolts for five years.
China is the largest producer of screws, bolts and washers in the world and the EU is the biggest market, taking 575 million euros (US$820 million) worth of such products in 2007, according to Chinese industry figures.
Meanwhile, China's annual fastener imports from the EU, which are mainly used on high-end products, has reached $180 million in recent years.
EU trade experts have complained that an increase of Chinese fastener exports has hurt European manufacturers, the official Xinhua news agency said. But Chinese exporters said that the profitability of European makers actually rose 110% between 2003 and 2007. They complained that an influx of European products and price cuts by the EU producers had squeezed China-made fasteners and forced them to low-end markets.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008