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China fastener makers weigh price controls to avoid EU dumping duties
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08:45, December 08, 2008

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China's screw and fastener exporters are concerned that they face anti-dumping duties of up to 87 percent in the markets of the European Union (EU) and might set internal price controls to avert European action, an industry expert said on Sunday.

Anti-dumping moves in the EU would aggregate the plight of the Chinese exporters, whose orders have fallen amid the world financial crisis, Sheng Rui, an export department official with Shanghai Prime Machinery Co. Ltd., told Xinhua.

On Wednesday, the European Commission (EC) voted to adopt anti-dumping duties of 63 to 87 percent on China-made fasteners over the next five years. The vote must be approved by trade ministers of the 27-nation bloc within a month before it comes into force.

China's industry players have offered to impose strict price controls, with domestic exporters to observe a price level agreed with the EC.

Sheng's company is among the 200 domestic firms involved in the case. The combined value of their exports to the EU reached 575 million euros (736 million U.S. dollars) last year, which makes the case one of the biggest EU anti-dumping cases against China.

In Sheng's company, more than 500 workers have already had their hours cut as a result of lower orders.

The company, the country's largest fastener manufacturer and exporter, sells in 93 overseas markets. The EU market was expected to account for 35 to 40 percent of the company's fastener exports this year, Sheng said.

"We will have to cut jobs if the duty is levied and many small companies will have to shut down," he said.

For Chinese exporters, stakes are high. The duties could mean they will be squeezed out of the European market, which accounts for one-third of the industry's exports.

"If there is a high anti-dumping duty, about 800,000 workers will lose their jobs," said Zhang Feng, deputy secretary-general of the Jiaxing Association of Fastener Import and Export Companies, a lobbying group that is mounting a legal challenge in the case.

The EC decided in November 2007 to initiate an anti-dumping probe into Chinese-made screws and bolts.

Source: Xinhua

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